Conservation Group Celebrating 50 Years of Hiking in the Wild

By Beacon Staff

Fifty years ago, Ken and Florence Baldwin led 40 hikers along a trail to Table Mountain in the Spanish Peaks near Bozeman. It became the first of more than 150 guided walks led by the Montana Wilderness Association, a statewide organization established to gather support for Montana’s cherished backcountry.

The MWA is celebrating 50 years of leading wilderness hikes this year. As part of a local celebration, Jake Bramante will be share the story of his adventure hiking all the trails in Glacier National Park on Thursday, May 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Split Rock Café and KM Theater.

Free appetizers and door prizes will be provided along with information on local campaigns and opportunities to get outside and celebrate the upcoming summer. A cash bar will be available, too.

MWA’s Wilderness Walks program offers hikers of all ages and experience levels an opportunity to participate in a traditional recreation opportunity while enjoying Montana’s wild places. This year’s walks include day hikes, backpacking adventures, field trips, midweek escapes and trail maintenance projects. All outings are free and open to the public, but participants must make reservations.

For more information on the 2012 Wilderness Walks program, go online or call the organization’s office in Helena at (406) 443-7350.

The Montana Wilderness Association was founded in 1958 and works with communities to protect Montana’s wilderness heritage, quiet beauty, and outdoor traditions, now and for future generations.