Building a Strong Trail Community

CDTC formed to establish strong community-based relationships through activities that support the construction, maintenance and support of the CDT. We seek to engage a wide audience of volunteers, supporters, and partners in an on-going process that will inform the work and the priorities of CDTC as the organization evolves.  We feel that building stronger local relationships with communities adjacent to the Trail and involving volunteers on the ground is the most powerful way to build our movement and preserve and protect the CDT. This would include municipalities, “gateway communities”, state and federal governments, public entities, and tribal communities and governments. While we will always look outward to build a diverse and broad coalition of supporters for the Trail, we will be mindful of our closest allies, including but not limited to; the federal and state agencies whom we depend on for support and guidance, the Trail’s users particularly hikers and equestrians, and the volunteer stewardship organizations along the trail whom have adopted many sections of the CDT as their own and work independently with local land managers to implement projects. CDTC will also seek to establish formal cooperative agreements and strong cooperative relationships with federal and state agency partners.  Through building this network of individuals, groups, and local communities, we will build a strong and healthy voice for the CDT that will help promote the Vision for the CDT and ensure it remains a national landmark for generations to come.

CDT Gateway Communities

View CDT Gateway Communitites

The Continental Divide Trail Gateway Community program is designed to recognize communities that have identified themselves as welcoming to CDT travelers, and which promote and protect the Continental Divide Trail.  Towns, counties, and communities along the CDT’s corridor are considered valued resources and treasured communities by all that use the CDT and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail. The program serves to assist communities with sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation, while preserving and protecting the CDT.

Designation as an Continental Divide Trail Gateway Community and participation in the program is aimed to:

  • Engage community citizens, trail visitors and stewards
  • Recognize and thank communities for their service to the trail and hikers
  • Act as a catalyst for enhancing sustainable economic development
  • Aid local municipalities and regional areas with conservation planning
  • Help local community members see the trail as a resource and asset, and learn about the opportunities in their own backyard

Short Term Benefits

  • National designation network and communication
  • Recognition and visibility through signage, press releases, Continental Divide Trail Coalition’s website and publications
    • Enhanced partnerships with public land agencies and volunteers
    • Education and Outreach programs and opportunities like CDTC’s Flat Stanley Library Program

Long Term Benefits

  • Increased community environmental stewardship
  • Increased sense of place and cultural sustainability
  • Trail-friendly promotion through CDTC-assisted marketing techniques

Interested in becoming a CDT Gateway Community? Contact CDTC at [email protected] or download and fill out the CDT Community Application.

Download the CDT Community Application

Partner Organizations


Continental Divide Trail Society Partnership for the National Trails System Partnership for the National Trails System American Hiking Society American Long Distance Hikers Association American Trails Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association – West Back Country Horseman of America Central Texas Trail Tamers Warrior Hike

New Mexico

Back Country Horseman of New Mexico New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors New Mexico Wilderness Alliance Step Into Cuba


Colorado Trail Foundation Friends of the Dillon Ranger District Headwaters Trail Alliance Salida Mountain Trails Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado Walk 2 Connect


Back Country Horseman of Wyoming Wyoming Outdoor Council

Montana and Idaho

Back Country Horseman of Montana Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation High Divide Trails Group Montana Wilderness Association

Agency Sites

United States Forest Service

For administration of the CDNST For information about the CDNST

Bureau of Land Management

National New Mexico Wyoming Idaho Montana

National Park Service

El Malpais National Monument Rocky Mountain National Park (general) CDNST Specific Lnk Yellowstone National Park Glacier National Park

Other National Scenic Trail Organizations

Continental Divide Trail Society Appalachian National Scenic Trail Arizona National Scenic Trail Florida National Scenic Trail Ice Age National Scenic Trail Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail New England National Scenic Trail North Country National Scenic Trail Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail Pacific Northwest national Scenic Trail Potomac Heritage national Scenic Trail