The Portage Route Chapter is continuing to work with Historical Research Associates of Missoula to expand and update Lewis and Clark Trail sites on the Nextexithistory mobile app. The pilot project we completed last year proved to be very successful so the new work is to expand the trail locations beyond Great Falls to include more locations in central Montana.
We are focusing on locations for visitors to see that will tell the Lewis and Clark story and provide recreational opportunities. Hiking to the Lewis and Clark pass, boating and fishing on the Missouri River and climbing to the top of Fort Mountain (Square Butte) are good examples. These locations will also explore other history of the area to put Lewis and Clark into its historical time context and broaden the overall appeal.
The Chapter has applied for a grant from the Montana Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Sign Maintenance Fund for the $2,000 maximum they offer. Historical Research Associates have indicated that each location we do would cost in the range of $800, depending upon the resources the Chapter provides. Our intent is to do as much as we can with any grant money we receive, matching the grant amounts with Chapter resources and knowledge.
There are a total of 37 interpreted sites in our central Montana region and we need to examine them all for possible inclusion on the mobile app. The Chapter will be working with other partners to help develop non Lewis and Clark , but related, sites that will foster broader interest in the area and provide corollary information to the visitor.