Volunteers needed to build the Continental Divide Trail | SkyHiNews.com

Volunteers needed to build the Continental Divide Trail

With volunteerism and national service being revived in bipartisan political dialogue, one exceptional way to dedicate your time this year is out on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) in the most spectacular regions of the country. Continental Divide Trail Alliance (CDTA) volunteers participate in new trail construction, posting signs, clearing existing trail and building bridges and trailheads.

The 3,100 mile-long CDT was designated in 1978 as one of the premier long-distance hiking trails in the world and today stands at 71% complete. Volunteers have been essential in constructing and maintaining the CDT, and this year help is needed more than ever as nearly 40 CDTA and partner organization projects are planned in all five Trail states: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

CDTA volunteers work and camp in scenic landscapes ranging from arid desert to high alpine wilderness. Projects last from one day to one week and while most project locations are car camping accessible, some backpacking options exist for those who want to experience the remote backcountry of the CDT.

Nearly all of our 2009 projects will have a volunteer Crew Chef on hand to provide most meals. Volunteers just need to bring camping gear and a sense of adventure. No prior experience is necessary. Tool use, safety training and proper trail building techniques are taught by dedicated federal land managers and CDTA crew leaders. Many projects also feature a guided hike or other educational outing.

Featured Projects: In addition to helping construct a brand-new segment of the CDT, volunteers on the five Clear Creek projects in Colorado can enjoy prime fly fishing, wildlife viewing and the history of nearby Winfield, a mining ghost town. This trail section is a key piece in the efforts to create a continuous non-motorized route near Leadville.

Registration for CDTA projects is free, and this year online registration is available for the first time. Visit http://www.cdtrail.org/getinvolved for more information, for a complete listing of projects and to register.

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For the third year, the CDTA Family Volunteer Adventures program funded by Coleman will be offering family-friendly projects for families with children 10 years of age and older.

During this unique experience, children are encouraged to learn the value of outdoor recreation and volunteerism as they explore and help to build and improve the Continental Divide Trail. Families will experience a unique environmental education opportunity, specific to the area in which they are working. Participants will also learn about teamwork, Leave No Trace outdoor ethics, backcountry safety and trail construction techniques.

Help build a national treasure, give back to America’s public lands and meet new friends on the “King of Trails” this year.

The Continental Divide Trail was established by Congress as a National Scenic Trail in 1978. When complete, the “King of Trails” will be the most significant trail system in the world. Stretching 3,100 miles along the backbone of America from Canada to Mexico, it accesses some of the most wild and scenic places left in the world while conserving the environment and promoting personal well being.

Since 1995, the Continental Divide Trail Alliance has played a central role toward the completion, management and protection of the Trail and it is the voice for unity in the diverse story of the Trail.

For more information about the Continental Divide Trail, call (303) 838-3760 or toll-free (888) 909-CDTA (2382). Or visit http://www.cdtrail.org.

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