With a growing population, Bozeman's trails are teaming with people, and trail etiquette education is a constant process. It takes lots of social media posts, articles, and repetition to get the word out and influence behavior. This past weekend, staff from Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF) and Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT) took to the trails in person.
Matt Marcinek, community trails program manager for GVLT; Kyle Marvinney, trail grooming manager for BSF; and Evan Weiss, executive director of BSF, set up shop at the Sourdough/Bozeman Creek trailhead. They distributed trail maps and dog waste bags. They gave ski trail advice. And they broached the topic of trail etiquette with the Saturday crowds headed up the trail. All with a little coffee and hot cocoa for trail users.
Sourdough is a particularly challenging area for trail etiquette, with skiers, walkers, runners, and dogs all sharing a single out-and-back trail. The first mile or two of this trail can be very congested, but for those going longer distances, the upper sections are often quiet and peaceful.
For more trail etiquette information, visit https://gallatinvalleytrails.org/ and https://www.bridgerskifoundation.org/trails/trail-ambassadors.
Bridger Ski Foundation is a local nonprofit that grooms 70+ km of winter trails, including those at Highland Glenn, Sunset Hills, Bridger Creek Golf Course, Bozeman Creek/Sourdough, the MSU Intramural Fields Loop, Sacajawea Middle School Loop, and assisting the Forest Service in Hyalite. Grooming is funded solely through a grant, voluntary trail pass sales, and donations to BSF. Trail access is provided by partnerships with GVLT, Bozeman Health, the City of Bozeman, Bridger Creek Golf Course, MSU, and the Custer-Gallatin National Forest. BSF also provides ski programming for the community in Nordic, Alpine, Freestyle, Freeskiing and Snowboarding.