By Jessianne Wright EBS Contributor
BIG SKY – Every year on the first Saturday in June, communities across the country participate in the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day by volunteering to improve local trails.
This year, volunteers will not only work to enhance trails, but will celebrate in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, an act of congress that established miles of public scenic and historic trails across the nation.
A number of area organizations will host organized work days on June 2 for National Trails Day, working toward the goal of enhancing 2,802 miles of trail—the distance across the U.S. You can also pledge to improve trails on your own by visiting americanhiking.org/national-trails-day.
Big Sky Community Organization
The Big Sky Community Organization will host a variety of work projects for National Trails Day. Volunteers will meet at the Big Sky Community park at 373 Little Coyote Rd. at 9 a.m. and may participate in installing new culverts, trimming branches and shrubs, repairing sign posts and gopher holes, and making a trash sweep.
Following the improvement projects, volunteers will meet back at the park at 12 p.m. for a barbecue. Volunteers should bring gloves, sunscreen, water bottles and trail-friendly footwear and clothing. Some tools are provided but additional shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows are welcome. For more information, call (406) 993-2112 or visit bscomt.org.
Gallatin Valley Land Trust
Bozeman’s Gallatin Valley Land Trust will concentrate efforts for National Trails Day around the west side of Bozeman this year. Volunteers will meet at 8:30 a.m. at Valley West Park on Clifden Drive to work on the trails and plant trees.
Gloves and close-toed shoes are recommended for these projects and volunteers are asked to bring extra wheelbarrows, rakes and shovels. Breakfast snacks will be provided, along with a picnic lunch at 12 p.m. once the work is complete. For more information, contact Matt Marcinek at email@example.com.
Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association
The Bozeman-based Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association will host three separate work sessions for National Trails Day.
Throughout the morning, volunteers can stop in at Bozeman’s Pump Track at the Gallatin County Regional Park in order to smooth and clean up the remodeled portions of the trail. Drinks will be provided and participants are asked to bring their own snacks, sunscreen, gloves and shovel.
There will also be two work sessions at the Copper City Trails System near Three Forks. Spend the morning biking and working on basic improvements to the trail, or come at 2 p.m. to help with planning for additional trail building. SWMMBA has plans to complete 8 more miles of trail and install a vault toilet, picnic area, enlarged parking lot and signs. To register for the Copper City Trails work sessions, please contact SWMMBA at (406) 518-1849 or firstname.lastname@example.org. No registration is required for the work day at the Pump Track.