Fat Tires and Funding Trails

by Natalia Dutt, AmeriCorps Member

Anyone who calls Thomas or the surrounding area home knows that the Thomas City Park Trails are a hidden treasure in our town. This trail system that is right across the river from downtown features miles of trails that allow you to get lost in nature without having to go too far. Since their inception these multi-use trails welcome hikers, bikers, runners, and skiers all alike. Like any trail that withstand harsh weather and years of use our beloved Thomas City Park Trails really could have used an update. Whether that was in the form of clearing them of fallen trees, rerouting some of the sections, or just general maintenance, we thought it was time to give this park some TLC. When the idea to in a way to revamp these multi-use trails, Zach Adams stepped up and designed a killer beginner loop trail plan. Himself and Emily (NHT's Executive Director) came up with a budget of $24,000 which would cover the cost of this project. For about a year New Historic Thomas has been avidly fundraising to make this trail a reality.

As of the first weekend in February 2018, we are so excited to announce that we have been able to fully fund this trail project, a feat we did not expect to be completed in such a short amount of time. For the second year in a row Stumptown Ales opened their doors to us for a night and donated $1 of every beer sold towards our trails. It proved to be their most successful night to date. The following day Adams hosted his second annual Fat Tire Bike race at White Grass XC. During the snowy morning 59 racers crushed a 10 or 20 mile course that took them throughout the trails White Grass has to offer. It has been thanks to these successful fundraisers, generous donations from individuals, and being awarded a hefty grant from People for Bikes that we have been able to make these trails a reality. We have been diligently putting work into the trails over the last year, and we are so excited that we are almost completely funded. It has been above and beyond our expectations to have funded this trail in just around a year, and we could not have done it without the help and encouragement from the community. Though we still have quite a bit of work to do to finish the trails, we cannot wait to be able to share the completion of this project with the people of Thomas and whoever wants to visit.

Again, we want to give a MASSIVE thank you to all of the individuals who have helped make this trail a reality. We would not have been able to do this without you! Now all that is left is head over to the trails and enjoy!