Cody Field Office and Montana Conservation Corps improve public trails and river access

Story by Zach Cowfer, Cody Field Office Recreation Technician; and Sarah Beckwith, Wind River/Bighorn Basin District public affairs specialist. Photos by Zach Cowfer.

Three trails near Cody, Wyoming received some special attention this summer thanks to efforts by the Montana Conservation Corps (MCC) and the BLM Wyoming Cody Field Office. Recreationists can enjoy improvements to the BLM-managed Sheep Mountain Trail, Bobcat–Houlihan River Access Trail, and the Twin Creek Trail as they hike, ride horses, fish and hunt this fall.

MCC crew members using equipment to clear fallen rock along the trail.
The MCC crew clears fallen rock and works to make a trail safer.

“The trail crew came with a positive attitude and a lot of energy, and now they have experience building safe, sustainable trails,” said BLM Recreation Technician Zach Cowfer. “I hope both locals and visitors head out this fall to enjoy these trail improvements.”

On the Sheep Mountain Trail, located just west of Buffalo Bill Reservoir between Cody and Yellowstone National Park, the crew installed several rock and wooden stairs in steep sections, mitigated trail washouts and cleared fallen rock. The work will help prevent erosion and dangerous sliding for foot and horse travel alike, and aid in trail compaction over time.

MCC crew members carry timbers over their shoulders ask they walk down the trail on the side of a hill.
MCC crew members carry timbers to be used for trail stabilization.

Next, the crew worked along the South Fork of the Shoshone River at the Bobcat–Houlihan campground and river access trail. Vegetation was removed to improve tent camping and reduce wildfire risk. An overgrown corridor from the parking area to the river was cleared. In addition, the crew installed a 16” footbridge over a stream in the trail, reducing erosion of the creek bed and allowing easier access to the river.

side-by-side photos of an overgrown path on the left and a cleared path on the right.
The MCC crew cleared an overgrown corridor from the Bobcat–Houlihan campground parking area to the Shoshone River.

Finally, the crew improved the Twin Creek Trail, another public access point along the South Fork of the Shoshone River. Sections of trail were widened and redefined. In steeper sections, the crew installed retaining walls, constructed wooden check steps and laid timbers along the critical edge of the trail to mitigate damage caused by rockslides and to reduce the risk of falling or sliding.

Side-by-side photos of a trail covered in rocks on the left and a cleared trail on the right.
In steeper sections of the Twin Creek Trail, the MCC crew mitigated damage caused by rockslides and reduced the risk of falling or sliding.

“Overall, the work we completed with the MCC crew makes these trails better defined, easier to find and access, and more sustainable into the future,” said Cowfer.

Two MCC crew members using tools to pound the side of the dirt trail.
MCC and BLM Cody Field Office staff improve a trail in the Cody area.

To learn more about MCC, visit: http://www.mtcorps.org.