July 25, 2017 at 4:57 pm | By Heidi Desch
The city of Whitefish has approved an agreement for a public recreational trail easement on Big Mountain.
When the Haskill Basin conservation and trail easement were created the city contacted Winter Sports Inc. about obtaining an eaesement on its property for a trailhead and connector trailhead providing summer and winter access to the portion of the Whitefish Trail on F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Co.’s property.
Winter Sports Inc. is the parent company of Whitefish Mountain Resort.
In January 2016 the city and WSI singed a letter of intent outlining the proposed easements, but the final deal still had to be agreed upon.
City Council July 17 approved the easement.
Mayor John Muhlfeld thanked those involved in creating the agreement.
“What an incredible amenity this adds to the trails,” he said.
The easement grants the city about 2 acres of land for use as an access road and trailhead, about 2 acres of land fur use as a year round trail corridor, about .05 acres of land for a year round trail corridor that will not be groomed in the winter, about .05 acres of land for a winter use only trail corridor and about .4 acres of land with a length of .2 miles for use of a winter only trail corridor.
As with the other sections of the Whitefish Trail, Whitefish Legacy Partners funds the design and construction of the trail system.
Whitefish Legacy Partners plans to create a parking lot and trailhead off Big Mountain Road near Lookout Ridge. The trail would allow for mountain biking and hiking in the summer, and classic and skate skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. The trail would be part of the Whitefish Trail, but also connect with in the winter with existing crosscountry groomed trails on the mountain.