Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bighorn Canyon Receives 2013 Active Trails Grant from National Park Foundation

Bighorn Canyon is one of 22 national parks across the country selected to receive a 2013 Active Trails grant from the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks. Now in its fifth year, the Active Trails program supports hands-on projects that encourage the public to lead healthy lives by actively engaging in trail work, special events and community activities that help restore, protect and/or create land and water trails across the country.

"Through the Active Trails program, we are able to help national parks across the country in their efforts to maintain and enhance the 17,000 miles of land and water trails that we currently have," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "These grants also help national parks create new trails and encourage healthy lifestyles by offering opportunities for the public to be active in their national parks."

Bighorn Canyon will kick-off their Small Boats, Big Canyon Waterways Trail program during the annual Bighorn Lake Celebration on July 6, 2013. With the help of Northwest College Outdoor Recreation program and volunteer Steve Keil, Bighorn Canyon staff will be able to design backcountry camping maps, train park staff, and develop canoe and kayak lake interpretive tours lead by park staff. Special programs will also be available for youth groups.

The Yellowtail Dam near Ft. Smith Montana, creates the 72 mile long Bighorn Lake. Approximately 58 miles of the lake are surrounded by the 1000 to 2500 foot cliffs of Bighorn Canyon. Peregrine falcons and bighorn sheep make their homes on the near vertical canyon walls. Along the park road visitors enjoy several scenic overlooks and hiking trails, but to truly experience the depth of the canyon visitors, need to see it from the lake.

Since 2008, the National Park Foundation has granted nearly $1.7 million through its Active Trails program. To date, Active Trails has engaged more than 4,700 volunteers and 131 project partners who combined have contributed more than 21,000 hours to help promote, refurbish or build national park trails that were ultimately enjoyed by 304,000 visitors (and counting!).

Hiking in Glacier National Park

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