SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Community Land Trust announced this week that Soldier Ridge Trail has opened to the public for non-motorized recreation beginning today.
The approximately 4-mile trail crosses Sheridan Heights Ranch and ERA Carroll Realty Co. property west of Sheridan city limits with a trailhead located at the end of West Fifth Street.
The recent gift of the easternmost section of the trail by the Don Roberts family established the trailhead and roughly 2 miles of the trail.
The land trust secured the westernmost section of the trail in March 2012 through a combined conservation and trail easement project with ERA Carroll Realty.
“On behalf of the residents of Sheridan County, I would like to thank the Roberts family for their vision and gift to the Sheridan community,” SCLT board president Margie Taylor said in a media release.
“Soldier Ridge Trail will most definitely become one of the most loved recreation amenities in Sheridan County, made possible because of the incredible generosity of the Roberts family,” she added.
The SCLT was awarded a grant in 2012 that allowed the organization to establish the trail in addition to making several improvements to the property during the summer.
Local groups such as the Big Horn Audubon Society are also working with the land trust to place educational and interpretive signage along the trail.
The SCLT has formally partnered with the Sheridan County Parks and Recreation Board to handle the maintenance and upkeep of the trail.
The land trust works to conserve and protect open space, wildlife habitat, agricultural land, recreational and historic resources in Sheridan County.
The group uses conservation and historic preservation easements to work with landowners while striving to maintain and improve open space in the area.
The SCLT currently has easements protecting nearly 3,000 acres along Little Goose Creek, the Tongue River and Soldier Ridge as well as a historic preservation easement on the Historic Sheridan Inn.
Soldier Ridge Trail is open to the public starting one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset unless otherwise posted.