The Lightest Tread Episode 5: Teresa Martinez.

Fostering profound experiences on the Continental Divide.

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Paul speaks to Teresa Martinez, Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. We learn all about what sets the Continental Divide Trail apart from other National Scenic Trails, the importance of prioritizing grassroots community support, and how the priorities of the CDTC lie in fostering profound experiences in a culturally, geographically and spiritually significant landscape.

For over 30 years, Teresa has worked professionally to increase awareness, engagement, access, and stewardship of the United States' entire National Trails System. Teresa is a life long outdoor recreationist and has worked for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Continental Divide Trail Alliance, before co-founding Continental Divide Trail Coalition in 2012. 

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) is one of the most significant trail systems in the world. Established by US Congress in 1978, it spans 3,100 miles (that’s 5000km) between Mexico and Canada, traverses five states and connects countless communities along the spine of the Rocky Mountains. 

Listeners can learn more and support the Continental Divide Trail Coalition here.

 Listeners can also get 15% off at by entering the code 'continental' at checkout: 


00:00 Intro 

01:50 The happy mayhem of outdoor Retailer 

07:35 Intro to the CDTC and role of the Executive Director 

15:20 Unpacking the many aspects of the continental divide as a landscape 

27:10 Profound experiences as a part of the Divide, not separate from it 

34:40 The function of the trail itself and the role of the coalition 

47:30 The value of building grassroots communities 

59:00 The importance of standing up to protect the trail in the face of threats 

01:17:00 How the landscape and trail cross political divides