The following is a press release from the Gila National Forest Office:

Big Tree Trailhead Improvement Project Completed

The Silver City Ranger District (RD), Gila National Forest, has completed the Big Tree Trailhead construction improvement project located near the Ft. Bayard area.  This trailhead accesses the Big Tree Trail, #755 and other trails in the Ft. Bayard area.

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 was 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

restroom access.

•           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.


Some additional improvements at this site that will be taking place this year are:

•           Installation of an informational kiosk that will provide orientation and historical information about the Ft. Bayard area.

•           Naturalization of the disturbed areas from the construction improvements.

•           Installation of some directional and parking signs.


“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.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting the Silver City Ranger District office at (575) 388-8201.