Since being established by congress in 1978, the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) has grown to stretch 3,100 miles across the United States, running from Mexico to Canada. It’s not just a thru-hike, where distance hikers face up against the wilderness and the wilds of the landscape. It’s a community connector that forms a link between five states and countless ecosystems. And the Continental Divide Coalition (CDTC) is the nonprofit that lends a helping hand to the trail and its community. Find out more about the CDTC and how Starry Night Lodging is working on expanding its partnership with the organization.
Since 2012, the CDTC has provided leadership and community engagement to help the Continental Divide Trail thrive. Their mission as a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit is to partner with the Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management to complete, promote, and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
The CDTC works to foster stewardship, conservation, trail completion, outreach, education, and community involvement along the trail corridor. It also creates opportunities for trail maintenance and works toward trail completion (the CDT is 96% complete on public lands).
Stewardship is a value of responsible management of resources and conscientious planning. The ethic embodies care and recognition of a duty to future generations. For the CDTC, this includes supporting land protection, encouraging conservation, and implementing a trail management plan to sustain the singletrack that makes up this epic route.
Community involvement is a wide-reaching effort for a trail that traverses an entire country. The CDTC works to offer resources for hikers in local trail gateway communities while engaging the neighboring towns and cities to support the trail and thru-hikers.
The CDTC website highlights gateway communities like Butte that offer hiker resources, including supplies, camping, laundry, showers, and wifi. Hikers can browse information for areas across the trail's five states: Montana, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Their website is a wealth of information for planning and on-the-fly needs.
Last year the Butte KOA Journey hosted many Continental Divide travelers and offered them a discounted price on their camping. With plans to extend this invitation again, the property will be able to help even more hikers along the trail.
The upcoming season at the KOA will showcase upgrades, increase collaborative programs and highlight native planting activities. In association with the Montana Native Plant Society, the Butte KOA Journey has taken on native plant restoration projects along the Silver Bow and Black Creeks.
Every month, the property will feature a series of discussions, workshops, activities, and events highlighting Butte's history and many of the ecological wonders that draw folks to walk, run and ride the Continental Divide Trail at our doorstep.
Are you interested in getting involved? The CDTC offers plenty of volunteer opportunities, from adopting a section of trail to advocacy or administrative help; there are plenty of ways to give back to and support the CDT. Find your way to contribute, and hit the trail.