By Maria Wyllie
Explorebigsky.com Associate Editor
BIG SKY – The Big Sky Community Corp. is giving local residents and guests a lot to look forward to: new trails, climbing boulders and a pavilion at the Big Sky Community Park are just a few projects BSCC has been working to complete.
It was 12 years ago when BSCC applied for trail easements to expand Big Sky’s trail system. Finally, in early June, eight miles worth of easements throughout the meadow, Town Center and Ousel Falls area were transferred from the Gallatin Peak Masters Association to the local nonprofit.
“We’re at a spot now where they are mapped, and we are in negotiations with various landowners to make sure the easements are placed in a location that makes sense for them and for us,” said Jessie Wiese, BSCC’s executive director.
Although details surrounding the project are still being ironed out, Wiese says they’re close to sending the project out for bids so construction can begin this fall.
Wiese added that the new trail system, known as the South Forks Trail Project, will be different than other trails in Big Sky in that it’s less steep and rocky and follows gentle, rolling terrain.
“I think that right now we are in a real pinch to have accessible trails directly to our community apart from Forest Service trails,” Wiese said. “Big Sky is surrounded by a bubble of private property, so what BSCC does is try to make Big Sky more livable by gaining access to easements within that bubble.”
BSCC is also mapping out preliminary routes to build a trail beginning at Ophir School and leading to Big Sky Resort. Weise plans to obtain those the easements this winter.
“It would be such a cool thing for the community to have access to the mountain and meadow via a single trail,” she said.
The Big Sky Community Park is also now home to three climbing boulders – a $70,000 project donated by The Rotary Club.
And climbers, skaters and softball players will be pleased to learn that port-o-potties will no longer be needed at the park.
Construction for a new pavilion, located between the two softball fields, is underway. The building will have restrooms and a concessions area, as well an overhanging awning with room for eight picnic tables beneath it. BSCC’s annual Parks and Trails Gala, which raised close to $100,000 this year, provided funds for the new building.