Why support the Continental Divide Trail Coalition?

In this time of giving, helping to support the Continental Divide Trail Coalition is a worthy cause.


As we passed on, it seemed as if those scenes of visionary enchantment would never have an end.”    —Meriwether Lewis, 1805

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) is an amazing achievement. With a diverse group of volunteers, federal and state government agencies, private groups and others, a trail from the Canadian border to the Mexican border is being built, maintained and administered.

A route is going through some of the most remote areas of the lower 48.  From deserts, to peaks soaring over 14,000 ft high to ancient by-ways, the route is a diverse one.

Currently, there are 32 miles to go before this route is complete.

And the Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) needs your help in completing this last stretch.

Why does the CDTC need your help?

  • Because the CDTC helps coordinate the efforts for the diverse group of people and agencies working on the trail.  And coordination of these efforts is needed to give the CDNST a needed voice on the national level for conservation efforts,  protection of the corridor and needed money for trail maintenance
  • The romantic in me would love a Continental Divide  National Scenic Trail  (CDNST) that is wild and free and not actively maintained.  Simply take my topo maps, a compass and hike. The realist in me knows that with increased development in the American West, that both the trail itself and the trail corridor needs protection.  Not just in national parks, but in lesser known areas such as the Great Divide Basin where increasing need for cheap energy may trump environmental concerns.
  • With the USFS, BLM and NPS budgets continuing to shrink, more resources will be needed from grassroots volunteer organizations to maintain our national treasures. And these resources needed equate to money.
  • Lastly, the CDNST, is a new trail. Unlike its more well-known siblings of the Appalachian and Pacific Crest National Scenic Trails, the CDNST is a trail where the culture, traditions and purpose are still being set. How exciting is it to make an impact on something so new, different and still a work in progress?

The CDNST is not just a trail for long-distance hikers. It is a trail that connects large parts of American culture, history and natural beauty. It is a national treasure on par with many of the National Parks and wilderness areas it passes through.

By giving to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, you are helping to build a legacy.  In this season of gift giving, consider giving to something that will last longer than the latest plastic doo-dad or thingamabob.

Future generations will be able to see “scenes of visionary enchantment would never have an end” while along the great divide for a day, weeks or months.

Give if you can to help support The Next 32 Miles.

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Drew Smith
Drew Smith
9 years ago


9 years ago

Sounds like a worthy cause!