Divide trail Gateway Community summit planned for November


Continental Divide Trail Coalition 

The Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) has opened registration for the 2023 Gateway Community Summit slated to take place during the month of November. 

The online event series will focus on providing communities adjacent to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) with resources and support for promoting tourism and community engagement related to the internationally renown trail. 

“The Gateway Community program is a way to showcase the unique offerings of our trail-town communities and to provide support. Through the Summit, these communities will be able to network, learn, and grow their capacity to share the Divide landscape with all who want to visit, from actual trail travelers and thru-hikers to families on a road trip and local community members who live along the Divide,” CDTC Executive Director Teresa Martinez said. 

Towns and counties self-select to be designated as official CDT Gateway Communities and are deemed as “friendly to trail visitors.” 

They also share in the CDTC’s mission and are dedicated to completing, protecting, and promoting the CDT. The CDTC partners with Gateway Communities to give visitors a great experience and opportunity to learn about the Continental Divide landscape.

This joint mission depends in part on the collective voices of the trail communities, and the CDTC is also conducting its annual small business survey to gather input and measure the economic impact of doing business adjacent to the CDT. 

Across the five states the CDT traverses, 70 percent of respondents from the 2022 small business survey reported seeing an increase in business and revenue related to CDT users and 90 percent believe that protecting the CDT and enhancing public lands in general is important to the well-being of their businesses and their community’s economy. 

Colorado is home to seven officially designated Gateway Communities and 740 miles of the CDT. 

“We hope to hear from a variety of businesses through the Small Business Survey and at the Gateway Community Summit,” said CDTC Community and Outreach Program Manager Liz Schmit. “Their input is important to the future of CDTC programs along the Continental Divide Trail, from our community programming and events to advocacy efforts in the halls of Congress.” 

The Gateway Community Summit will take place weekly throughout November and is open to participants within the CDT landscape and attendees who are not located adjacent to or near the trail. The four-part virtual series will feature success stories from Gateway Community ambassadors, provide educational resources and a “project incubator” session. 

The small business survey will close on Nov. 17 and small business owners or representatives are encouraged to participate. For more information, visit the CDTC website at continentaldividetrail.org/gateway-communities or contact outreach@continentaldividetrail.org.