Passion for trail leads to giving back

Terry Plate REDUCED

If you have even ventured on the Whitefish Trail, or shown up at the Wave Aquatics and Fitness Center early in the morning, you may have had the opportunity to meet Terry Rymer. A Whitefish resident for over 35 years, Terry knows the importance of playing and staying active.

Terry’s first experience with hiking was over 50 years ago in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. He ventured in 10 miles with a rucksack and cowboy boots. Despite feet full of blisters and a fairly miserable experience, Terry continued to hike throughout his younger years in Colorado and then in Glacier National Park upon his return to Montana.

After reading about the Whitefish Trail in the Pilot a few years ago, Terry wandered into Glacier Cyclery to grab a map. Now knowing where to go, he headed out to hike all of the trails in the system. “I started seeing people my age out on bicycles on the trail, and I thought I can do this!” Terry has always biked, but only recently picked up mountain biking after his experience on the Whitefish Trail. Now Terry hikes and bikes the trail on a regular basis.

Terry’s passion for the Whitefish Trail soon translated into giving something back. Impressed by the overall trail design, Terry signed on as a volunteer last summer. He participated in six trail projects, from trail maintenance on Lion Mountain to trail construction on the new Woods Lake Trail. Not only did Terry contribute volunteer time, he often arrived early to ride his bike on the trail prior to digging in the tread.

If working and riding trails wasn’t enough, Terry also volunteered in the office and during the Whitefish Legacy Run this past fall. Just last week with snow still covering the trail, Terry bounded in to the office with one of the new Whitefish Trail License Plates in hand. Terry was so excited to have the Whitefish Trail displayed on his new vehicle and was thrilled to learn of another way to support the trail. Whitefish Trail license plates are now available with proceeds from sales directly benefiting the trail.

While Terry helped me remove rusty old bolts to affix my newly purchased Whitefish Trail plate, I thought of a quote I recently heard from Irish Playwright, George Bernard Shaw: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” I couldn’t help but think about how supporting the Whitefish Trail not only provides a recreational asset that benefits so many, but also keeps you active, healthy and engaged in our community.

Terry is ready to volunteer again and has already offered his time to help in the office and prep tools while the trail melts out. We understand not everyone can be super volunteers like Terry and we welcome any level of support whether it is a couple hours in the office or a morning on the trail. We need you…ON the Whitefish Trail!