Beaver TH back to town- perfect tread, new signs and huckleberries

A few trail signs have been collecting dust on my desk recently, patiently awaiting public display along the trail.  Occasionally getting buried under meeting agendas or invoices, the signs always resurfaced seeming to say, “Hello!  I’m ready!  Put me out on the trail where I can do some work!”  To be honest, they always slipped to the bottom of my priority list, a sure sign that things were getting a bit hectic in the office.  This week, however, I shifted the to-do list upside down.  With so many people out on the trail, installing those last few trail signs was an important task.

Terry, one of our most devoted trail volunteers, offered to run shuttle and install some signs on the South Beaver Loop while I biked back to town from the Beaver Lakes TH, installing signs along the way. I started at 7:00 AM and did not see a soul until I reached the cliff band above Skyles.  Slowly working my way up the trail, I was excited to install some new ‘fun’ signs, asking if people are having fun, encouraging users to come back, and congratulating those who make the overlook.  They bring a small sense of playfulness to the trail and encourage users to become Whitefish Trail Friends.  Have you seen them yet?

IMG_5817This year we are launching our Vision2020:Close the Loop effort to encourage the community to look forward.  We certainly have a TON to celebrate with 36 miles of trail and 10 trailheads, and the effort to close the loop of the Whitefish Trail around Whitefish Lake will certainly take a village.  Becoming a Whitefish Trail Friend or Family by making a financial investment in the trail is crucial to closing the loop.  Our membership does not offer 10% off sporting goods or 20% off ice cream.  Instead, our membership offers you 100% off access to world-class trails close to town!  We literally have to pay the DNRC $15,000 PER YEAR just to license the trail. That number does not include education programs, new trail signs, or trail maintenance.  In addition, that number does not include my salary, rent, or the cost of designing and printing new trail maps.  I will be transparent here: your financial support allows us to be in the trenches, fighting the fight for our local trail.  In the last month, WLP staff have secured two MAJOR grants for new trails and trailheads in Haskill Basin totaling $240,000.

  • $150,000- Land, Water, Conservation Fund (LWCF)
  • $90,000- Recreational Trails Program (RTP)

The community’s investment is paying off.  Keep supporting us, and we’ll keep fighting for your trails. Give today.

liontobeaverThe trail continues to be in amazing shape. These perfectly timed rain showers are keeping the trails tacky and our Adopt-A-Trail crews have done an amazing job this spring. As I continued, a small purple morsel in the vegetation caught my eye.  I thought to myself, “No way.  It’s too early for hucks.”  I almost did not turn around to check, but the temptation was too strong. As I awkwardly rolled my bike backwards, the hucks materialized along the trail.  Once you see ripe huckleberries, you cannot stop looking for them.  I quickly picked a handful, scooped the entire pile into my mouth, and grinned ear to ear as my taste buds celebrated the return of that wild flavor.  See the elevation profile above. There are two moderate climbs in this great section of trail.  The total length all the way back to downtown is 8.7 miles.  Cut off two miles if you are stopping at Lion Mountain.

We do not know about any trees down on the trail or sections in need of major work.  We will be getting out to Spencer this week to button up some sign installations.  Please let us know if you see anything along the trail that needs attention. Thanks for reading!