News Release

Bent’s Old Fort Invites Public to Interpretive Facility Grand Opening

LA JUNTA, COLO. – August 11, 2009 – Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site will unveil a new interpretive trail and interpretive plaza at the visitor parking lot of Bent's Old Fort at a Grand Opening Event August 25.

The interpretive plaza, which was constructed with park entrance fee funds from the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act funds (FLREA), will welcome visitors  to the Fort with six exhibit panels detailing the rich history of Bent’s Old Fort. The plaza also offers shade and a place to rest for park visitors.

A new interpretive walking trail, the “Trading Territory” Interpretive Trail, was most recently completed.  The trail is a 1.75 mile native soil/crushed rock hiking trail loop with eight wayside exhibits which interpret the natural environment of the historic site and its relationship to the human history of the area.  The trail was constructed with money from the Centennial Challenge Fund, a special initiative which matched federal funds with private donations in honor of the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service.  Colorado Preservation, Inc. partnered with Bent’s Old Fort on this project.  The Colorado Historical Society (State Historic Fund) provided matching funds for the signage along the trail.

According to Park Superintendent Alexa Roberts, “We want to highlight how public funds are being put to work for public benefit and also to introduce a new recreational experience in Southeast Colorado.”

The Bent's Old Fort Interpretive Facility Grand Opening will be held Tuesday, August 25 at 10:30 a.m. at the parking lot of Bent’s Fort, 35110 Hwy 194 East, 8 miles east of La Junta.  In addition to the Grand Opening, Bent’s Fort will offer a fee free day for all park visitors waiving admission to the Fort for the day.

Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site, one of 391 units of the National Park System, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Guided tours by park interpreters in historic clothing are offered daily at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 and 2:30 p.m.  Self-guided tours and a 20-minute orientation film are available anytime during operating hours. 

For additional information on the Bent's Old Fort Interpretive Facility Grand Opening contact Pamela Denahy at 719.384.6821 or pam.denahy@ojc.edu.

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