Winter Pilot ‘Trail Ambassador’ Program Launches on Popular Bozeman Trails
Four local winter recreational partners are excited to promote a sense of shared responsibility on our community trails with a new Trail Ambassador program. The Gallatin Valley Land Trust, US Forest Service, Friends of Hyalite, and Bridger Ski Foundation are introducing volunteers on some of Bozeman’s most popular trails to share goodwill and educate the public on trail conditions, grooming reports and trail etiquette.
As the population of our community has grown, trail use on many of Bozeman’s trails has too. The four trails-focused partners have been looking at this growth for years and have decided to take a proactive step at managing potential conflict. They've hired a part-time coordinator to manage volunteer Trail Ambassadors who will be stationed at busy trails and trailheads around the Main Street to the Mountains trail system and in Hyalite Canyon. During this first season, Trail Ambassadors are focusing on trails that are heavily used in the winter such as Sourdough Canyon, the M trail, Burke Park, Snowfill Recreation Area, Hyalite trail system, and Highland Glen Nature Preserve.
Kelly Pohl, Associate Director of GVLT, said, quote,
Volunteer Trail Ambassadors assist trail users by handing out maps, sharing grooming reports for cross country skiing, and discussing trail conditions. They also help promote responsible trail use and etiquette by sharing dog poop bags, dog leashes, and trail etiquette cards. More than anything these trail ambassadors will be a smiling face on our community trails, a reminder that an entire community of respectful trail users is what will keep our trails safe and enjoyable as our community continues to grow.
The partners are hoping that this program will help bring more awareness and visibility to the groups who contribute to the trails. The Gallatin Valley Land Trust and US Forest Service build and maintain trails, the Bridger Ski Foundation grooms trails for cross country skiing, and Friends of Hyalite plow the road in Hyalite Canyon for winter recreational use. A second season of this program is planned for the summer if the winter pilot program proves to be successful. The goal of the program is to ensure that all users on our trails have an enjoyable and safe experience to appreciate our beautiful outdoors.