Trail Maintenance

Every year, GDTA volunteer trail crews conduct trail maintenance on the GDT. Projects can include building, maintaining and improving trail tread, removing fallen trees, repairing and building bridges and trail structures, brushing and clearing vegetation, as well as blazing and signing the trail. We recruit young and old to give time and energy to maintain the GDT from Waterton to Kakwa. GDTA volunteers devote hundreds of hours to keeping the trail open. It is only with the support of members and volunteers that the Great Divide Trail experience is possible.

Quality recreation and ecological restoration

The GDT is subject to floods, fires, and overgrown vegetation that cause erosion, trail blockage, and other problems. The annual maintenance and restoration of the GDT to meet trail quality standards is a major undertaking of the GDTA. The goal is to create a world class wilderness recreation experience that allows people to connect with the great outdoors. The GDTA’s projects improve the trail user’s recreation experience while at the same time lessening the trail’s impact on the environment. From drainage control to improving stream crossings, the GDTA strives to minimize the impact of the trail on the wilderness it passes through.

Leadership and education

GDTA Crew Leaders are responsible for identifying projects, coordinating trail crews and necessary tools and equipment. These Crew Leaders are also volunteers and they make sure that our volunteer program runs smoothly and offers an excellent experience to volunteers. Supporting this trail maintenance program is an immense amount of work. We work with federal and provincial land managers to secure project authorization. 

To help volunteers build their skills and be successful in their trail work, the GDTA provides education, training, and oversight in safe trail construction and restoration. Each and every one of our projects is a training trip. Trail maintenance is a lifelong learning opportunity. By training volunteers with the valuable skills needed to help protect and maintain recreation trails, they become the stewards and leaders, in turn giving countless hours to maintain the GDT.

Below are summaries of past GDTA Trail Maintenance trips. If you are interested in participating in one of our future Trail Maintenance trips, check out our GDTA Volunteer Guide or contact us.

2024 Trail Building & Maintenance – Call for Volunteers

Dust off your camping gear because the dates and locations for our 2024 trail building and maintenance trips have been set and we invite YOU to join us! This year, we have an array of opportunities, including 4 trail building trips on the High Rock Trail (HRT) throughout July, where we’ll be building new single-track trail on the…

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What is the Great Divide Trail Signature Trip?

by Wayne Marshall The Signature Trip is many things. It is Historical The concept began in 2003 while two hikers (Dan Wallace and Wayne Marshall) were walking the Great Divide Trail (GDT) when it just disappeared.  The pair had spent many of the previous summers hiking The Trail and decided…

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2022 GDTA Trail Building and Maintenance Trips

by Tasha Shakotko and Kate Hamilton The trail building and maintenance committee, chaired by Dave Hockey, had a very busy and productive summer. Several trail crews answered the needs, both planned and unplanned, of Sections B, D, E, F and G. All told, it amounted to: Trail crews kicked off…

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2021 Trail Building & Maintenance Trips

For this year’s Trail Building & Maintenance article we decided to let the volunteers tell in their own words about the trail crew trips. Over and above these reports there was one major “Scouting Trip” early in the spring, which besides setting the stage for all the High Rock trips,…

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2020 Trail Building and Maintenance Trips

By Doug Borthwick  2020 was another great year for trail building and maintenance on the Great Divide Trail.  Much thanks has to be given to all those on the GDTA Trail Building and Maintenance Committee (TMBC) who put in an extraordinary amount of work behind the scenes just to be able to safely put together any trips.  Planning was ahead of…

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2019 Trail Building & Maintenance Trips

2019 was a very busy year for the GDTA, with more scouting, trail building and maintenance trips than ever before. A huge amount was accomplished thanks to the large number of hard-working and dedicated volunteers. Key accomplishments in 2019: The wettest and coolest summer in the Rockies in decades, but…

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2018 Trail Building & Maintenance Trips

2018 was a very busy year for the GDTA, with more Signature, Hybrid, Walking, Bridge-building, and Scouting trips than ever before! A huge amount was accomplished thanks to the large number of hard-working and dedicated volunteers. Key accomplishments in 2018: 90 km of the Original Great Divide Trail cleared and…

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High Rock Trail – 2017

By Doug Borthwick This year, we increased our work on the High Rock Trail significantly, expanding to multiple scouting and trail building trips throughout the summer. A huge amount was accomplished thanks to the large number of hard-working and dedicated volunteers. Some of the key accomplishments in 2017: 27 km…

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High Rock Trail – 2016

From July 20-24, 2016, the Great Divide Trail Association sent in our largest crew ever to begin construction of the first new section of the GDT in thirty years. 26 hard-working volunteers worked to clear the forested corridor, establish tread and flag future trail in what will become the High…

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Owen Creek to Pinto Lake – 2015

After an amazing signature trail maintenance trip on the Aldridge Creek Trail in BC, five keen volunteers continued the trail maintenance spree on the Alberta side of the Divide from July 22-25. The small, but enthusiastic crew hiked for four days from Owen Creek Canyon to Pinto Lake and out…

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