Half moon trail half-way open

JBBCH members Sharon and Henry Gottardi cross the creek with their packhorse carrying safety year, tools and fuel as well as the JBBCH’s chainsaw.

Photos courtesy of Laura Johnson

Nine workers representing the Judith Basin Back Country Horsemen cleared a record 38 trees from the Half Moon Trail last Friday making it to the “big slide area”. A second work trip is planned for August to finish clearing the trail that leads up to Half Moon Pass and across to Crystal Lake. 

Members Dick Bucsis, Laura Johnson, Brad Fogle, Judy Fossum, and Henry and Sharon Gottardi, were joined by friends, Kori Sramek, Joe Sramek and Buck Keeter. The work of trail clearing began almost immediately from Half Moon’s Uhlhorn Trailhead.

“We didn’t make it two miles and we were put to work,” said JBBCH Trail Boss, Henry Gottardi. “Everyone really pitched in, and we had a great day even though we had to turn back about 3 p.m. due to weather. We should have no problem clearing the rest of the trail on our next trip.”

The Uhlhorn Trailhead is located approximately 23 miles south from Lewistown, following MT-238 for 11.3 miles then turning onto Red Hill Road for another 11.2 miles. It is a recreation site adjacent to the Big Snowy Mountains. The trail was created by the Bureau of Land Management in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service and the JBBCH. It is suitable for hiking, horseback riding and wildlife viewing.

The Half Moon Trail clearing is the second major trail clearing for the JBBCH this year due to the spring’s heavy snow in May and high winds this summer. JBBCH members volunteer their time and services to assist the BLM and U.S. Forest Service in keeping trails open. The state chapter, Montana Back Country Horsemen, estimated over $1 million in volunteer labor was contributed last year alone in keeping Montana’s trails open for all users.

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