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Bear River State Park
Family Nature Trails

This page has information on the beginner-level family nature trails within Bear River State Park in Evanston, Wyoming, just 6 miles across the state line from Utah. There's 2 miles of sidewalk-style trail on the east side of the Bear River, and 2 miles of gravel-reinforced trail on the west.

Most of our website users will instead be interested in the singletrack Rio Oso trail system, with a trailhead in Bear River State Park.

Elk viewing pasture in the state park. Trail photos and GPS tracks July 5, 2019 by Bruce.

There are three large parking areas in the park, all with bathrooms and shaded picnic tables. The third parking lot, at the end of the turn-around circle at the road's end, is the one most bike riders would select for either the nature trails or the Rio Oso system.

There is no entrance fee for the park. It's a day-use area only (no camping).

Lots of parking options, tons of private picnic spots.

Bear River Greenway Trail

The Bear River Greenway Trail is a cement nature trail that follows the Bear River. At the southern end, the trail begins in Bear River State Park near the old river bridge, as a continuation of the dirt River's Edge trail of the Rio Oso system. From there, it heads north between the river and the park road.

Typical view along the trail. Nature signs here and there, a couple of test-your-skills and exercise stations.

The trail follows the river under the I-80 freeway, then past the fence of an auto-salvage yard before crossing to the west side of the Bear River on a footbridge. Then it continues northeast through the Bear River Greenway.

Lots of view of the scenic Bear River.

The trail splits around 1/4 mile from the northwest end. One trail crosses to the eastern side of the Bear River, ending in a small park.

The main trail ends at the Bear River Ponds park. It's 2 miles long, with only 50 feet of elevation change along its length. It can be easily done with training wheels, and on bikes with only one gear. The trail tends to see a lot of use in the afternoons, so morning is a better option for unfettered cruising.

Arriving at the Bear River ponds. Watch for flying fishing tackle and unpredictable kids.

West-side Nature Trails

Within Bear River State Park, two foot bridges cross to the western side of the river. On the west side is a network of meandering trails. The trails are reinforced with gravel, so they're good to go even when damp.

The state park is a popular early-morning running/strolling area. There are also plenty of spots to just sit and chill.

One access bridge is in the middle of the park. A small (2-car) parking strip on the west side of the road provides access to a trail that crosses the cement trail then continues west over a footbridge.

The second access is just south of the end of the cement Bear River Greenway trail. When the sidewalk ends, continue about 200 feet until you see the old bridge on your right.

Footbridge to the midpoint of the river trail.

The main trail runs close to the Bear River, with frequent river views. At the north end, it ends in a loop.

Looking south from the main river trail.

These trails lie on the Bear River's flood plain. At times during the spring runoff, portions of some trails may be under water.

Also, moose do wander into this area. The morning of my checkout ride, there was a large bull moose and a deer right off the trail. Use great caution around moose, as they can be aggressive at times.

Pond along the trail.

Off the southern end of the main river trail are a series of interconnected loops through trees and grass. It doesn't take long to explore all of them.

At the time of my ride, there were no trail signs, "you are here" maps kiosks, or other pathway designations.

Little creeks and ponds abound. There are several bridges.

Bottom Line:
Great spot for a short family ride and picnic. Very pretty and well-maintained park with fun short (and flat) trails for families with young kids. They'll enjoy the bison and elk (if the animals are shy, there's a free telescope) on the fenced west side of the park.

Hard-core bikers, go to the Rio Oso trail page.

Bear River.

Getting there:
On I-80 eastbound, take the 3rd Evanston exit (Exit 6, Bear River Drive). Turn right, then quickly right again into Bear River State Park. Continue driving past two large parking lots until you hit the one-way circle at the end of the road. Turn right into the trailhead parking.

For the mid-point bridge, get on the sidewalk-like trail and head north 1/4 mile. Turn left on a gravel path that crosses near a tiny parking spot.

For the old bridge, go south along the river 1/10th mile, then turn right to go across the bridge.

Resources for this trail:
   GPS track files (right-click link and "Save as...")|
      Area multi-track file
   Area topo map (state park only; includes Rio Oso)
      View map

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