Trail Maintenance and Development
Each year, dedicated Great Divide Trail Association volunteers head into the woods with picks, shovels, saws and spirit to rebuild washed-out bridges, cut away fallen trees, and restore eroded portions of the trail. We recruit young and old to give time and energy to fix what needs to be fixed from Waterton to Kakwa. GDTA volunteer trail crews devote hundreds of hours to keeping the trail open. It is only with the support of members and volunteers that the Great Divide Trail experience is possible.
Read more about our Trail Maintenance Trips.
Quality Recreation and Ecological Restoration
The GDT is subject to floods, fires, and overgrown vegetation that cause erosion, trail blockage, and other problems. The annual maintenance and restoration of the GDT to meet trail quality standards is a major undertaking of the GDTA. The goal is to create a world class wilderness recreation experience that allows people to connect with the great outdoors. The GDTA’s projects improve the trail user’s recreation experience while at the same time lessening the trail’s impact on the environment. For example, drainage control keep the trail in place while minimizing erosion and sedimentation of nearby streams. Improving stream crossings by relocating the trail or building a bridge makes for a better user experience while protecting riparian areas from erosion.
Leadership and Education
GDTA Crew Leaders are responsible for identifying projects, coordinating trail crews and making sure those crews have the necessary tools, food and support. These Crew Leaders are also volunteers and they make sure that our volunteer program runs smoothly and offers an excellent experience to volunteers. Supporting this trail maintenance program is an immense amount of work. We work with federal and provincial land managers to secure project authorization. We train and educate our volunteers on proper trail-building techniques so project goals are met without injury. We sign up new volunteers and recognize and celebrate the work of existing volunteers. We buy, manage, and distribute tools. We feed hungry volunteers.
To help volunteers build their skills and be successful in their trail work, the GDTA provides education, training, and oversight in safe trail construction and restoration. Each and every one of our projects is a training trip. Trail maintenance is a lifelong learning opportunity. By training volunteers with the valuable skills needed to help protect and maintain recreation trails, they become the stewards and leaders, in turn giving countless hours to maintain the GDT.
The GDTA is committed to connecting the global community to Canada’s Great Divide. We offer GDT presentations throughout the year at various locations in Alberta and British Columbia, where we share the wonders of the GDT and recruit new members.