filed under: featured trails

Recreational Trails Program
Featured Project

The Maah Daah Hey Trail Sully Restoration and Surfacing

The Maah Daah Hey Trail (MDHT) is a legendary 144-mile non-motorized, single-track trail that runs from Medora to south of Watford City in North Dakota.

Photo via North Dakota Parks and Recreation

Press Release Via North Dakota Parks and Recreation

The Maah Daah Hey Trail (MDHT) is a legendary 144-mile non-motorized, single-track trail that runs from Medora to south of Watford City in North Dakota. The Maah Daah Hey Trail Association (MDHTA) applied to the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) through the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department (NDPRD) to restore segments of this legendary trail. The 2020 Sully Restoration and Surfacing project is an extension of the 2019 Sully Creek Recreational Trails Program (RTP) project where approximately two (2) miles of trail was graveled to create soil stability and prevent trail erosion. The MDHTA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing and maintaining a linear, non-motorized, sustainable, recreational trail system in southwest North Dakota, through voluntary and public involvement, and in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service.

Problematic issues on the MDHT such as braiding*, overuse, soil erosion, and landscape degradation continue to be issues on this trail. One way to prevent many of these issues is to provide a stable trail foundation such as the gravel shown in the corresponding photographs. “If you can form a meatball out of soil and it sticks together, then it is good trail graveling material,” MDHTA Vice President, Curt Glasoe informed the RTP grants staff. “A lot of the trail is a sand/silt base which is unstable because the silt will not bind.” When gravel is added to the base of the trail, the binding agents in the gravel make for a stronger foundation. The MDHTA has been the recipient of several recent RTP grants and plans to continue restoring the legendary MDHT segments at a time.

The Recreational Trails Program is an 80/20 matching grant program that provides funding for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail projects. Examples of eligible projects include construction of new recreation trails, restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages, purchase and lease of recreational trail construction and maintenance equipment, land acquisition/easements, trail accessibility assessment. Specifically, this project included the restoration of the already existing and longstanding Maah Daah Hey Trail.

If you would like to learn more about this project or have questions about the Recreational Trails Program, please contact the Grants Coordinator, Char Langehaug, at (701) 328-5357 or send an inquiry to [email protected] If you would like to know more about the MDHTA, please visit

* Trail braiding is where an alternate line or lines develop in the trail. This could be due to human activity or cattle/horse trail use. If left unkept, these ride-arounds can lead to widened trail corridors and erosion.

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