New Fork Park Grand Opening June 21
Along the Lander Trail
The new 100-acre park is located where the Lander Trail crosses the New Fork River in western Wyoming, 35 miles south of Pinedale. The park is owned and managed by the Sublette County Historical Society.
by Sublette County Historic Preservation Board
June 14, 2014
"hear was hundreds of Emigrants camped and making preparations for crossing", James McClung recorded in his diary on July 19, 1862 when he arrived at the difficult New Fork River crossing of the Lander Trail. A new 100-acre historical park has been developed where James wrote those words more than 150 years ago. From 1859-1869 tens of thousands of emigrants came through the upper Green River Valley on their way to Oregon and California.
Visitors now have a unique opportunity to experience the river setting much as emigrants encountered 150 years ago. Nine interpretive panels along a one-mile rustic nature trail focus on the daily lives of the emigrants in their own words using dozens of Lander Trail diary accounts.
The park has been developed by the Sublette County Historical Society with support of more than twentyfederal, state, local, non-profit, corporate and private organizations. Thanks to unique agreements with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), purchase of the property was funded by donations from Shell, Ultra Resources, and PacifiCorp to mitigate impact of development on the setting of the Lander Trail through the Pinedale Anticline.
The grand opening celebration of the new Lander Trail New Fork River Crossing Historical Park will be held Saturday June 21. A free lunch of campfire stew, home-made biscuits and desserts will be served at noon. A ceremony to recognize contributions of partners will start at 1 pm ending with a ribbon cutting. Speakers will include Don Simpson, State Director Wyoming BLM, Mary Hopkins, Wyoming State Historic Preservation Officer, Aaron Mahr, Director NPS National Trail Intermountain Region, Nancy Brown, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and Travis Boley, Oregon-California Trails Association. After the ceremony, visitors are welcome to explore the Park and information tables featuring emigrant artifacts recovered at the Park during archeological investigations in 2011 and 2012.
We need your help developing a plan for future development of the Park. On Sunday, June 22 at 1pm, the National Park Service and Sublette County Historical Society will be hosting a charette at the Pinedale library to concept a phase II development plan. A draft of the plan will be presented to the public on Wednesday, June 26 at 6pm at the Pinedale Library.
The Park is location on Paradise Road, one mile north of highway 351. More information, directions and updates can be found at www.NewForkPark.org.