After the recent Grizzly Bear sighting at Lion Mountain, we were eager to get out to Lupfer for the chance at another encounter, being that it’s the farthest trailhead from town. Not to worry, however, the only wildlife we witnessed were the occasional Redstart Warbler and an entire rafter of turkeys. As we rounded one of the many gentle rolling hills on this section of trail, 8-10 baby turkeys, with shaggy, immature coats, shot straight up in the air and promptly roosted in the trees above. We could hear them cooing overhead, but they remained stealthily hidden from view, per mom’s orders.
The Lupfer loop is approximately .5 miles from the trailhead and is 2.9 miles long. It meanders and rolls through lush forest and is a great introduction to the Whitefish Trail. The overlook adds another .7 miles one way, so if you run the entire section, it would be roughly 5 miles total. Although Lupfer is flatter than most other sections of the Whitefish Trail, don’t underestimate the grade if you are running or biking. The hills are not long lasting, and the jaunt up the overlook is especially steep. HERE is a link to the map.
The trail is in great shape. A short section by the junction to the Overlook is a little overgrown with grass (see photo below), but overall, the signs and trail conditions are quite enjoyable. If you want to get away from the crowds of Lion Mountain, head to Lupfer for some solitude. We did not see a single other trail user and the views of Star Meadows from the overlook were exceptional. A friend visiting from out of town said it reminded her of Vermont!