By Erik Morrison BSCO Outreach Coordinator
The Big Sky Community Organization’s mission is to connect people with recreational and enrichment opportunities. On any given day this season that is exactly what you’ll find our winter trails ambassadors doing.
Whether it be Nordic skiing, fat biking, snowshoeing or hiking, these volunteers are out there enjoying the trails, watching over and assisting friends and guests, providing area trails and event information, and gathering valuable user beta that will help inform and direct the future of Big Sky’s parks and trails. They are the eyes, ears and helping hands of the BSCO. In this installment of On the Trail we caught up with one of our longest standing trail ambassadors, Bill Elledge.
Big Sky Community Organization: What’s your favorite way to play on the trails, Nordic skiing, fat biking, snowshoeing or hiking?
Bill Elledge: Nordic skiing, for sure!
BSCO: How long have you been working with BSCO?
B.E.: Maybe 10 years. I have been volunteering both winters and summers as a trails ambassador since the program began three years ago and have been volunteering and supporting the efforts of BSCO for the past decade.
BSCO: What do like most about the program?
B.E.: Helping to serve and support Big Sky trails and this program that protects them. I feel that through our work there is a growing sense of its importance and place in our community. We are so fortunate to have these trail systems in our backyard.
BSCO: What is your favorite memory of your time on the trails over the years?
B.E.: One of my favorite encounters as a trails ambassador was with a couple from the Midwest who were longtime mountain bikers, and who traveled to Colorado every year to mountain bike. They had come to Big Sky last summer in desperation because of the fires in Colorado. They were so impressed with the trails, their proximity to town, the shape they were in, that they vowed to return to Big Sky every year in preference over Colorado. It made me feel really fortunate to have access to a great trail system!
BSCO: How did you get into the outdoors?
B.E.: I grew up in the Midwest, where there was very little opportunity for hiking, biking, climbing or skiing. I remember as a kid ordering USGS maps of places like Yellowstone and Glacier national parks and poring over them for hours at a time. When I finally migrated West I just couldn’t get enough of the mountain outdoors, and I still haven’t.
For more information about Big Sky’s parks, trails and recreation programs, visit bscomt.org. The Big Sky Community Organization engages and leads people to recreational and enrichment opportunities through thoughtful development of partnerships, programs and places.