Pitch in for National Trails Day

Opportunities abound to help maintain and explore local parks and trails

By Tristan Scott
Lone Pine State Park in Kalispell. Beacon File Photo

With National Trails Day just around the corner, Montana parks officials are unveiling a suite of activities and volunteer opportunities to get hands-on with trails work while taking time to appreciate and enjoy the outdoors.

On Saturday, June 2, Montana State Parks and Lone Pine State Park will partner with Montana Conservation Corps and Foy’s to Blacktail Trails to conduct trail maintenance in celebration of National Trails Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

National Trails Day is a nationally celebrated event to help enjoy, improve and learn about the trails surrounding local communities. If you hike, bike or run at Lone Pine State Park or in the Foys to Blacktail Trails trail system, this is a great opportunity to come and help improve the trails you love.

The event will begin at the Foys Lake unit of Lone Pine State Park located at the junction of Foys Lake Road and Lone Pine Road. Crews will travel to Lone Pine or Herron County Park from there. After a morning of trail work, crews will all meet back at Lone Pine for a free lunch near the Lone Pine picnic shelter at 1 p.m. Kalispell Daybreak Rotary will head up the volunteer lunch effort, hot off the grill.

Montana families and visitors are also invited to participate in an outdoor photography contest this summer intended to connect more people with Montana’s State Park system.

The Montana State Parks Adventure Challenge is a new partnership between the Montana State Parks Foundation and Montana State Parks intended to encourage the public to explore Montana’s state parks and share their positive experiences through photography. The public is invited to participate by completing one or more of eight unique photo-based challenges found at myadventurechallenge.com June 2 through Sept. 2.

The photo-based challenge will launch Saturday at Lone Pine State Park, where Whitefish native Rachel VandeVoort, director of the newly minted Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation, will appear alongside parks officials to lay out contest details.

Members of the public should meet at the Lone Pine picnic shelter, 300 Lone Pine Road, in Kalispell, at 12:45 p.m.

Montana State Parks Administrator Beth Shumate said the Montana State Parks Adventure Challenge is designed to reflect the large variety of ways that visitors can use and enjoy state parks across Montana this summer.

“In Montana, we’re extremely fortunate to have incredible parks that offer world class recreational opportunities to connect with Montana’s outdoors,” Shumate stated in a news release announcing the challenge.

“Whether you like to hike, fish, camp, boat or explore Montana’s rich, cultural and historic heritage, we have an Adventure Challenge for you,” she continued.

The Montana State Parks Adventure Challenge encourages the public to experience all 55 of Montana’s diverse state parks this summer by participating in one or all of the adventure challenges.

The challenge features prizes donated by Montana organizations and businesses supportive of Montana State Parks. Sponsors of individual challenges include Simms Fishing Products, the Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation, Voices for Montana Tourism, the Montana Wilderness Association, Oboz Footwear, the Montana Trails Coalition, several businesses that provide Native American interpretive tours, Business for Montana Outdoors, and the Basecamp.

Coby Gierke, Executive Director of the Montana State Parks Foundation, said in addition to providing a fun way to explore Montana’s state Parks this summer, the challenge gives people a chance to get involved in and support their parks.

“Every review ever conducted of Montana’s state park system has concluded that we need to build stronger partnerships and more state parks supporters,” he stated. “The Adventure Challenge is a fun way to help us build much-needed public support for Montana’s state parks.”

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.