Continental Divide Trail Coalition receives grant

Staff report
Sky-Hi News
Volunteer groups like the Continental Divide Trail Coalition and Headwaters Trails Alliance work tirelessly to keep the CDT in its best shape. A recent grant from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance will help them on their mission.
Continental Divide Trail Coalition/Courtesy Photo

The Continental Divide Trail, or the CDT, stretches from Mexico to Canada and winds through Grand County, providing many access points for casual or thru-hikers. The Continental Divide Trail Coalition, a nonprofit group, provides stewardship of the trail and supports gateway communities like Grand Lake.  

The coalition recently received a grant from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance to support National Forest Trail System volunteer projects and trail improvements, including in Grand County. The proposed projects will address critical maintenance, restoration and construction needs to improve trail sustainability and provide a quality experience for recreators.  

“The National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance is excited to offer the Trail Partner Funding to support the volunteers, nonprofit organizations and agency partners who are stewarding the National Forest trail system on their local public lands,” Joelle Marier, executive director of the Stewardship Alliance, wrote in a news release about the grant.

Volunteers will undertake the trail projects in several popular national forests across the country: Shoshone National Forest, Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, Carson National Forest, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Santa Fe National Forest and the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests in Grand County.

“Americans are lucky to have such diverse and beautiful National Forest areas across our country, but we are even luckier to have caring stewards who give their time and their energy and their love to this unique American resource,” Marier wrote.

By working with Continental Divide Trail volunteers, the projects also increase accessible outdoor recreation for nearby communities, such as Grand Lake. Locals then feel more informed and excited to participate in volunteer projects and recreate on the trail. 

“Now more than ever, people are looking to our natural places and trails for a place to relax, connect, explore and heal. As the use of the CDT continues to grow, these trail rerouting and rehabilitation projects will ensure that the CDT upholds National Scenic Trail standards, preserves the natural character of the trail landscape, and improves opportunities and access to the outdoors,” Continental Divide Trail Coalition Executive Director Teresa Martinez said in the news release. 

In July, members of the Headwaters Trails Alliance and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition constructed a bridge along the trail in Grand County. A volunteer takes a seat on one the planks he helped contsruct.
Continental Divide Trail Coalition/Courtesy Photo

Projects funded by the Stewardship Alliance grant will continue through December 2024. Volunteers ready to get involved in projects can visit for more information.

Martinez added that, “Volunteers are at the heart of the work we do along the CDT, and we’re grateful for their generosity. The trail system needs people who not only traverse the tread but are personally involved and dedicated to trail maintenance — and willing to get their hands dirty.”

To learn more about the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, visit The Alliance builds a nationwide network of volunteer organizations that provide stewardship for America’s wilderness.

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