Thermopolis Round Top and Connector Trails
Wyoming Pathways is gearing-up for a big year of trail building in Thermopolis. It will be great to see this wonderful new outdoor recreation asset added to the Thermopolis community. Guided by the findings of the Thermopolis Community Trail Plan, we’re moving forward to implement the top recommendations – to build a new MTB and hiking trail to the top of Round Top Mountain and a trail to connect Round Top to the T-Hill Trail in Hot Springs State Park. These trails will provide a high-quality trail connection all the way from Thermopolis over T-Hill to the summit of Round Top, which will offer huge views of Thermopolis and the Bighorn River valley.
With the help of the Christy Walton Foundation to provide funding to build the Round Top Summit Trail, Wyoming Pathways worked with the Thermopolis community and Hot Springs State Park to develop the plan for a connector trail from the park to the Round Top trail and the project was compelling enough to qualify for a Wyoming Recreational Trails Program grant. Sufficient funding is now in place for this project to move forward in 2022, but we are still looking for additional financial help, so we can see the project through to its completion. We are excited to be able to bring this great new trail system to the Thermopolis community and believe it will be both a draw for tourism and a boon to local hikers, bikers and trail runners, so if you can, please donate to the project via the form below.
In 2020, Wyoming Pathways partnered with the Bureau of Land Management, the Hot City Outdoor Alliance and the Town of Thermopolis to develop a vision for the future of soft surface trail development in and around Thermopolis. The group hired well-known trail consultant Todd Thibodeau to organize a series of community meetings, collect input from stakeholders and develop the plan. The goal was to create a plan that meets the needs of Thermopolis residents for year-round close to home recreational trail systems and also enhances economic development by providing visitors added outdoor recreation opportunities. The result was the Thermopolis Community Trail Plan and one of the first projects identified in the plan was a trail up local landmark, Round Top Mountain, to be know as the “Thermopolis Round Top Trail”.
With the project identified, the Partners went to work to raise fund for the project and were fortunate enough to be awarded a Land and Water Conservation Fund (LCWF) grant for the project, which was contingent upon having matching funds. The partners believed that they had secured the matching funds via another grant, but unfortunately that one did not come through and the LCWF grant was subsequently lost. That left the project partners with a plan for a great new trail, but no funding to build it. Fast forward a few months and seemingly out of the blue, a well-known Wyoming foundation came to the rescue to provide the matching funds, but unfortunately it was too late to revive the LCWF grant.
So, the good news is that the project now has partial funding, but it is still not enough to build the initial phase of the Round Top Trail. The project partners are doing everything in their power to raise the additional funds to get the project going, but it is a tall order. We are hoping that the spirit of generosity that the foundation showed in providing matching funds is contagious and will move those of you who would like to see more great trails in Wyoming to donate. Just imagine yourself sitting in a beautiful hot spring after a great day of outdoor recreation on a trail that you helped to become a reality. Hard to imagine a better feeling, so we hope that you will find it in your hearts to help us make the Thermopolis Round Top Trail a reality. It will be good for the community, good for visitors and good for Wyoming.