A small portion of the Pilot Hill parcel is now open to the public. The parcel, located on the eastern edge of Laramie, is part of a collaborative effort to protect nearly 4,344 acres for nonmotorized recreation and wildlife habitat.
The Wyoming Board of Land Commissioners closed a land exchange on Friday that secures 4,343 acres of land for the Pilot Hill Project. The exchange has been in the works for more than two years and traded 11,668 acres of isolated state trust land for the area now in Pilot Hill.
The Pilot Hill Project started in 2017 when rancher Doug Samuelson approached Albany County with a proposition. They could have first dibs on his almost 5,500 acres of land just East of Laramie - it was already land where people liked to recreate in the past - but they had to raise the ten million dollars to purchase it within a year. Since then, it's blossomed into a community-wide project.
Efforts to create a 5,500-acre state park on the mountainside outside of Laramie called Pilot Hill is moving forward. Albany County commissioners recently approved a contractor to develop a land-use plan. SE Group will get paid $70,000 to seek public input and then plan out trailheads and trail systems for the park.
Community organizers are progressing on an effort to raise money to buy a mountainside east of Laramie known as Pilot Hill. The hope is to turn it into a state park that connects the city of Laramie to trails in the Laramie Range, and will also protect the city’s aquifer from future development.