Whitefish Legacy Partners (WLP) and Flathead Fat Tires (FFT) have been working towards the legalization of the trails at Spencer for years. This effort has spanned the past 10+ years, and with the help of the City of Whitefish, we’re on the home stretch. What started as an effort to prevent the various user-built trails and technical bike features on the north end of the Spencer Lake DNRC lands from being torn down has evolved into a joint agreement between the DNRC, the City of Whitefish, FFT and Whitefish Legacy Partners to license the trails, allow for the ongoing maintenance of those trails, and incorporate those trails into the Whitefish Trail network.
We are in the final stages of drafting and implementing an agreement whereby the City of Whitefish will hold a Recreational Use License for the area including 7 miles of free-ride trails and an 8-mile north-south loop. FFT will be charged with maintaining the free-ride trails and the 8 mile loop will be designated as part of the Whitefish Trail. The City of Whitefish and WLP will be charged with maintaining the Whitefish Trail segments.
At this stage, the final touches are being put on an environmental assessment of the project and the precise terms of the licensing agreement are being worked out. We anticipate the licensing agreement to be presented to the Whitefish City Council on June 3rd with hopes of a recreation license being in place June 2013. This will allow FFT, the City, and WLP to begin work on the trails, Twin Bridges trailhead, and recreation system signs beginning in early June as well. FFT will be rebuilding many of the trail features that are showing signs of their age as well as addressing certain “problem” areas of trail that are experiencing significant erosion and drainage problems.