2019 Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Highlights

Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation (LCTHF)

Lewis and Clark Trust, Inc. (LCT)


Programs — LCTHF grants helped fund a new travel brochure of the eastern portion of the trail; a program to preserve and teach the Lakota language; a program to teach children about grizzly bears; a cleanup of the Missouri River in Missouri; and an exhibit on connecting cultures in South Dakota. LCT provided funding for the Honoring Tribal Legacies Program in partnership with the NPS. The International Tribal Games program at Yellowstone National Park provided an educational opportunity for 30 teachers and interpretive specialists. The cultural lessons in the games have been taught to approximately 9,000 youth and adults in settings across five States. NPS developed an agreement with the American Indian and Alaska Native Association to develop travel and tourism opportunities along the trail.

Events — LCTHF, NPS, and partners held a ceremony in Clarksville, IN announcing the trail extension to the public. NPS developed and hosted a Symposium that looked at the impacts of Railroads in Native America. 

Technology — NPS made significant upgrades to its website and social media platforms, reaching out to dozens of new partner groups and sites. NPS concluded the Newfie News social media campaign, which had more than 24,000 hits on the main webpage. The popular Seaman Jr. pup had 35 posts total from the 10 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) centers around the country. NPS coordinated with partners for an Instagram story (reaching 1.9 million people) and Facebook Live event (reaching 120,000 people) from Hells Gate State Park to promote NASA’s “GO on a Trail” citizen science challenge, boosting efforts by the NPS toward the Long Range Interpretive Plan goal to make the Lewis and Clark NHT more visible.


Legislation — LCTHF and partners engaged in advocacy for decades, resulting in the LCNHT being extended eastward to Pittsburgh, adding 1,200 miles to the official trail, and adding Indiana to the National Trails System map through the passage of the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act.

Planning — NPS started developing an Auto Tour Route for the five new States. NPS launched a multiyear multiple agency planning effort to revise boundaries and address recreation and historic trails use/maintenance in Lolo Trail National Historic Landmark with the Nez Perce-Clearwater and Lolo National Forests. 

Signage —LCTHF granted or internally funded several interpretive sign projects, including with Habitat for Humanity in South Dakota; another with Fort Atkinson in Nebraska; and a years-long effort to mark points of historical importance to Lewis and Clark in the Eastern Legacy portion of the LCNHT. 


Staffing — LCTHF hired a new Executive Director, Sarah Cawley. NPS completed the review, selection, and hiring of an Educational Technician position, a Park Guide Pathways position, and the trail’s first ever Visual Information Specialist.   

Strategic Plan — LCTHF is implementing several aspects of its strategic plan by examining a new membership fee structure and improving ways to interact with its local chapters and the general public. NPS developed a strategic and communication plan to help guide the trail staff during the first year of the process of integrating the extended portions of the Lewis and Clark NHT.

Documentation — LCTHF published an organizational history having celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding. LCTHF obtained full ownership of the informational website Discovering Lewis and Clark (lewis-clark.org).