Beaverhead Trails Coalition

Beaverhead Trails Coalition logo
Name Beaverhead Trails Coalition (BTC)
Type Trail Association
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The BTC is a local, grassroots coalition based out of Dillon, MT.

Our Vision: A community with easy access to walking, bicycling, and horseback riding.

Our mission: Providing the community with walking and bicycling trails, parks, and programs.

Beaverhead Trails Coalition (BTC) began in 2009 with a small group of community members who wanted to promote a healthy lifestyle for the community by encouraging walking, hiking, bicycling, and other forms of outdoor exercise. The three committed people involved, a nurse, an orthopedic surgeon, and the Beaverhead County Planner, decided it was necessary to officially form an organization, with regular structure and meetings, in order to achieve their goals. Additionally, another longtime local physician donated the funding needed to apply for 501(c)(3) certification, which we achieved in 2012.

BTC subsequently successfully applied for funding for projects such as the Walking School Bus, the Bicycle Recycling program, and a Bike Rodeo and bike helmet giveaway. We also created “Walk and Talk with a Doc,” encouraging healthy walks with doctors for free medical advice, installed a bridge over Pigtail Creek, and partially funded a restructuring of the traffic and sidewalk pattern at the local grade schools, for added safety. Recognizing the need for more helping hands, the core group worked hard on a successful membership drive. Today we have 99 members and have worked extensively with the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, MT Dept of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, MT Dept of Natural Resources and Conservation, MT Dept of Transportation, MT Youth Challenge, Beaverhead County High School and University of Montana Western cross-country & football teams, and hundreds of volunteers.

In 2014 we constructed our first trail to the top of the hills west of Dillon, accessing the area with a permanent easement on ¼ mile of private property and located on county property at the top. But we were hungering for more. Thus, in 2014 we began our most ambitious project to date – the purchase of 1,108 acres of land on the hills above Dillon, from the “M” to the “B” and extending to the west. That year we signed a Buy-Sell Agreement outlining a five-year, three phase plan to purchase the land and open it to the public. Our first purchase was Sept 21, 2015 and after five years of hard work fundraising, building trails, adding signage, and combatting noxious weeds, on Sept 6, 2019 we purchased the final 127 acres. We now own 1,114 acres of land (including a donation of 6 acres from a local rancher), right on the edge of town, with 10 miles of trails for all to enjoy. Our dream is to connect to nearby Bureau of Land Management and State land, creating a corridor for bicycling, hiking, running and horseback riding from town to the Pioneer Mountains.

In 2018 and 2019 we worked on three additional major projects, one leading to a new official Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Fishing Access along the Beaverhead River on the north edge of town, another creating a pedestrian and bike trail along Noble Avenue connecting trails on the north side of town with existing trails in town, and a third installing bike racks in downtown Dillon to encourage bike usage. We’re still working on the Noble Avenue in-town trails project and it will eventually lead to a much better, safer route to school and town from the northern suburbs.

We’re still focused on our mission of encouraging healthy lifestyles and we’re well on our way to providing some of the structural amenities (land, trails, parks, bike racks) that make it possible. We owe a lot of people a lot of thanks, our funders in particular. Without them, volunteers, agency help, pro bono and discounted work, and donations of all kinds, we wouldn’t be much beyond our first little trail to the top.

Nearby Trail Networks

Dillon High Trails System 1 9 5 117 trails
Pioneer Mountains 2 27 147 trails
Hells Canyon 2 26 trails

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