A few weeks ago I mentioned some highlights of the Great Plains Trail. I am very excited to now provide a map which gives a rough idea of where I think the trail should be. Of course, this is far from the only option, but I think it represents some of the best things the plains have to offer and takes advantage of the widely scattered public lands that exist.
Here is a look at the map:
- The northern terminus of the Great Plains Trail (GPT) is on the U.S./Canada border adjacent to the western section of Canada’s Grasslands National Park.
- The GPT will pass through the 3,000,000+ acre American Prairie Reserve as well as the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Montana.
- The GPT will take advantage of the forests and views provided by The Black Hills of South Dakota.
- Western Nebraska is dotted with pine forests, buttes, and badlands as well as the famous Scotts Bluff National Monument.
- The GPT bisects the visually dramatic Pawnee National Grassland in eastern Colorado.
- The GPT swings into western Kansas to view the stunning canyons of the Arikaree Breaks.
- Comanche National Grassland in southeastern Colorado contains abundant wildlife, an impressive canyon system, and ancient dinosaur tracks.
- The GPT will follow the Santa Fe National Historic Trail through parts of Kiowa National Grassland in northern New Mexico.
- The GPT will drift far enough west to catch glimpses of 10,000+ foot peaks in eastern New Mexico.
- The southern terminus for the GPT is high atop the summit of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas, in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.