Expansive trail system will break ground this spring with a ceremony scheduled for May 9
BY BEACON STAFF // APR 4, 2017 // LATEST HEADLINES, OUTDOORS
The first phase of the “Close the Loop Project” will connect Whitefish to Whitefish Mountain Resort with 5.5 miles of new trail accessed by two trailheads. The latest addition to the expansive trail system will break ground this spring with a ceremony scheduled for May 9from 5-8 p.m. at Bonsai Brewing Project in Whitefish.
Once it is completed, trail users will be able to visit overlooks and scenic boardwalks while exploring the pristine cedar groves of Haskill Basin. The Lower Haskill Trailhead will be located a half-mile up Reservoir Road immediately adjacent to the City of Whitefish water treatment facility, and the Upper Haskill Trailhead will be located on Big Mountain Road on Whitefish Mountain Resort property. In partnership with Glacier Nordic Club, the upper trailhead will have groomed XC ski trails accessing existing groomed trails in Haskill Basin.
“This project took years to orchestrate, and we feel overwhelmed by the outpouring of community support. It is amazing how quickly everyone came together to raise the final match. We will break ground this spring, and we will complete Phase I of our Close the Loop Project in 2017. Thank you Haskill Match donors,” stated Alan Myers-Davis, WLP director of development.
Whitefish Legacy Partners secured $150,000 from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), $90,000 from the Montana Recreation Trails Program (RTP), and $11,333 from the Flathead National Forest Resource Advisory Council (RAC) to support the project. The grants required a $200,000 match, which was raised locally through the Haskill Match Community Challenge. The total project budget includes money for long-term operations and maintenance and for a professional survey of the trail corridor. In addition, trail easements from the City of Whitefish, Iron Horse HOA & Flathead Land Trust, Stoltze Land and Lumber Company, and Winter Sports Inc. have made the project possible.
To date, Whitefish Legacy Partners and City of Whitefish have established over 36 miles of a recreational trail system accessed by ten trailheads.