Annual Challenge follows day of stewardship in celebration of local trails
Regardless what the weather may be doing, June 1st is the unofficial start of summer in the minds of many Southwest Montanans. Soon we’ll be hiking, biking, climbing, floating, fishing and patio-sitting every chance we get. The sun-soaked season’s opening day also doubles as National Trails Day this year. Always the first Saturday in June, this is an opportunity to recognize how these open spaces provide an avenue for recreation and exposure to the natural wonder that surrounds us.
As it does every year, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) will host a morning of hard work to maintain its community trails. This year’s focus will be on improving those at the Highland Glen Nature Preserve, an extensive single-track trail system available for public community use. Volunteer registration begins at 8:30am at the corner of Ellis and Highland across from the Softball Complex. Work crews will head out around 9am. Additional shovels, rakes and wheelbarrows will be helpful. Gloves are recommended. Please wear layers, sunscreen, and closed-toed shoes. No registration is necessary, so bring your family, friends and coworkers for a morning of volunteer service for our community trails! Breakfast goodies will be provided, and the group will meet for a free picnic lunch at noon once the work is complete. Open to volunteers of all ages and abilities.
Additional locations for local days of maintenance and stewardship include: Bozeman’s Leverich Canyon Trail with Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association beginning at 8am; Big Sky-area trails with the Big Sky Community Organization at 8:30am; and Livingston’s Suce Creek Trail with the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation at 8:30am. Please see host organizations’ respective websites for further information.
National Trails Day also marks the start of GVLT’s Summer Trails Challenge, running through June 21st. During the challenge, the local nonprofit will receive $1 from the Community Match Pool, donated by local businesses, for every mile that is biked, hiked, or run on trails and logged online. 1 mile = $1. It’s that simple! Your miles will help GVLT continue to expand and enhance the Main Street to the Mountains trail system. GVLT’s free Discovery Walks are a great way to rack up the miles and learn about your ecological surroundings in the process! Turn to page 1B for details about upcoming walks. This year’s target goal looks to exceed 60k miles on GVLT-maintained and other regional trails. Be sure to share your progress on social media! All who log miles during the Challenge will be invited to a finale party on June 21st with complimentary BBQ provided by Montana Ale Works. Visit www.GVLT.org for more information and to start logging!
Gallatin Valley Land Trust connects people, communities, and open lands through conservation of working farms and ranches, healthy rivers, and wildlife habitat, as well as the creation of trails in the Montana headwaters of the Missouri and Upper Yellowstone Rivers. •