Columbia Missouri Trail Association recognized for organized trail work, volunteer events
The Columbia Missouri Trail Association is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to creating and maintaining sustainable, natural-surface trails in the mid-Missouri region.
Mark Twain National Forest’s Deputy Forest Supervisor, Tony Crump, presented members of Columbia Missouri Trail Association with an award at a ceremony held July 14.
The award recognized the group for their excellent public service through organized trail work and volunteer events.
The ceremony was held at the Mark Twain National Forest Supervisor’s Office in Rolla and in attendance were Nate Smith and Andy Schuette, representing Columbia Missouri Trail Association, and Jane Mobley and Trey Hall, representing the United States Forest Service.
The Cedar Creek unit of the Forest has greatly benefited from the group’s presence, as they provided much-needed attention to hiking opportunities on public lands convenient to users in the Jefferson City and Columbia area.
“With the Columbia Missouri Trail Association’s help, we have been able to update trail signs and repair entire trails much faster than normal thanks to their scouting and planning efforts,” District Recreation Officer Tray Hall said.
The Columbia Missouri Trail Association began working with the Forest in 2020 and impressed Forest Service recreation staff.
Last year, they cleaned up Moon Loop and inside and around the Pine Ridge Campground.
They also cleared limbs and trees from trails and corrected erosion issues on some of the Smith Creek Loop and parts of the Cedar Creek Trail near Devil's Backbone.
Since 2020 they have cleared trails of downed trees and have provided updates on the status of the range allotment gates that have broken down over the years.
Their success is also due to the group’s working relationship with neighboring volunteer groups like the Heartland chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen of Missouri. They work together to build a coalition of volunteers and plug new interested citizens into well-planned projects.
This collaboration helps them reach their goal of giving greater opportunities for mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts to live healthy, active lives.
Assistance from volunteer groups like this helps the Forest stay informed on patterns of trail usage and conditions on the ground.
District Recreation Officer Hall said, “Columbia Missouri Trail Association has provided excellent quality of work over the entire trail systems, stewarding the whole, and I am glad we have a chance to honor them for that work.”
Residents join up with Columbia Missouri Trail Association by visiting their website at comotrails.org, or follow them at facebook.com/comotrailassociation.