Silver City, NM; August 21, 2013—As of Monday, August 19th, 2013, the Silver City Ranger District (RD), Gila National Forest, has begun reconstruction work on the Big Tree Trailhead located near the Ft. Bayard area. This trailhead accesses the Big Tree Trail, #755, and will be temporarily closed for public and employee safety.
Please use caution near the construction zone due to heavy equipment operating and transporting construction materials at the trailhead for this project.
Funding for this project came from a Secure Rural Schools grant awarded to the Silver City RD in the amount of $31,169.
The goal of this project is to improve access to the existing Forest Service trail system in the Fort Bayard area by:
• Improving the parking area by providing 10-15 passenger car parking spaces and up to 5
horse trailer parking spaces.
• Providing an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sidewalk and parking space for
• Improving traffic flow.
• Improving trail and historical interpretation by providing a 3-panel information kiosk.
• Removing deteriorating wooden posts and rails and replace with 2” pipe fence.
• Improving soil erosion control challenges at the trailhead.
Parking improvements will enhance the quality of the area for hiking, biking and horseback riding enthusiasts and make the Big Tree Trailhead area suitable for recreationists year-round.
“The trails of the Fort Bayard National Game Reserve area are notably one of the most popular trails systems of the Silver City RD,” stated District Ranger Russell Ward. It is a priority of the Ranger District to offer a quality and safe recreational experience that highlights the cultural treasures of the Fort Bayard area, in particular the Big Tree Trailhead. The Big Tree trailhead is a key access point to the Big Tree, the popular Woodhaul and Sawmill National Historic Scenic Trails, Badlands and Servis Corrals, and the National Historic Fort Bayard complex.