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.

Aldridge Creek – 2015

From July 15-19, the Great Divide Trail Association partnered with the Hornaday Wilderness Society, the trail operator for the Aldridge Creek Trail. 18 volunteers worked to re-establish the trail from the Aldridge Creek trailhead to Fording River Pass, repairing and building trail tread, and removing brush and fallen trees. [Photos…

Continue reading

Hidden Creek – 2014

Twenty-one volunteers spent four days (July 24 to 27, 2014) working to repair damage to the Great Divide Trail caused by the June 2013 floods and re-established the trail from Tornado Saddle to the ridge crest north of Hidden Creek. Two bridges over South Hidden Creek were built, trail and…

Continue reading

The Flood of 2013

Unfortunately due to road and trail damage from the severe flooding in south-western Alberta in June 2013, our 2013 GDT Trail Maintenance trip was cancelled. From August 30 to September 1, 2013, three members of the Great Divide Trail Association hiked from Hidden Creek to Baril Creek, assessing damage to…

Continue reading

Etherington Creek – 2012

Fifteen volunteers spent four days camped on the north fork of Etherington Creek.  A bridge over the main fork of Etherington Creek was built and the trail was reconstructed through the difficult cut-block section leading toward Baril Creek. This work was originally planned for 2011, but logistic issues required it…

Continue reading

Lost Creek – 2010

This year’s planned trail maintenance in the Lost Creek area has been successfully completed.  Sixteen people took part in a four-day weekend of brush clearing, branch pruning, trail re-alignment and re-blazing.  The goal of completing trail maintenance south to where last year’s work ended was accomplished.

Continue reading

Upper Oldman – 2009

Major trail work took place during July 2009.  A newly formed volunteer group dedicated to the ongoing maintenance of the GDT, the Friends of the Great Divide Trail, spearheaded the effort by recruiting new volunteers, obtaining permits from the Alberta Government, and arranging for donations of food and the loan…

Continue reading

Baril Creek – 2006

In September 2006, members of the Great Divide Trail Association and the Alberta Wilderness Association, with help from several Pathway Connectivity employees, did bridge construction across Baril Creek and trail clearing up to Fording River Pass.  The entire Baril access trail was also re-blazed.

Continue reading

Cataract Creek – 2004

In 2004, major trail clearing, bridge building and some trail realignment was done between Cataract and Lost Creeks, across the spectacular Cataract Plateau. The new line was surveyed in June, with construction work occurring in August. The entire section from Rye Ridge to Cataract Plateau was re-blazed as well. Lunch…

Continue reading