Winter has finally arrived in full force in Northwest Montana. With several recent snow storms and more on the way, the Whitefish Trail is finally feeling like a winter wonderland. Snow blankets the landscape and hangs lightly to every tree branch and pine needle. This week during an early morning walk at Lion Mountain, a whitetail buck with one antler slowly walked down the trail. He was moving through the landscape with so much intention that an inch of snow had accumulated on his back, creating a white coat of camouflage. A few moments later, a bald eagle circled the Skyles Lake Overlook surveying the landscape for a snack. Winter is such a great time to explore our local lands. The snow creates a quite and peaceful landscape to explore, and if you walk with that same intention, the world will come alive before your eyes.
The Whitefish Trail has finally assumed its winter guise. The only trailheads that are consistently plowed are Lion Mountain, Skyles, Beaver Lakes, Reservoir, Big Mountain, and Swift Creek. Other trailheads may get plowed occassionally by a good neighbor or not all all. Roads to Woods and Dollar Lakes are now too deep to drive, and the Twin Bridges Trailhead is all but buried behind a snow bank. Busy trails stay packed even after the biggest storms, and if you want a longer adventure, snowshoes or XC skis are highly recommended. We are so fortunate to have such a well-maintained and permanent trail system in our back yard. Have ever you thought about how your life would be different without it? If you appreciate the Whitefish Trail, consider a donation in 2019 to keep the amazing community resource happy and healthy.