October Trail Update

This cold, wet week officially marks the end of my second summer with Legacy Partners.  As valley rain and mountain snow returns, local farmers are staying busy prepping for winter. This summer was such a stark contrast to 2015. Clear view-sheds and normal moisture made for perfect conditions recreating on local trails.  Last summer, however, Stage I fire restrictions and smoky skies constricted use and created dusty trails valley-wide.

As soil moisture returns, fall also marks the return of trail work.  Adopt-A-Trail crews are completing their 2nd annual work day, clearing drains and cutting back summer growth.  Our autumn volunteer event for National Public Lands Day was a huge success.  We had 10 trail volunteers work in the rain to complete a reroute at Spencer Mountain.  Some of those brutal climbs at Spencer are getting rerouted with easier slopes.  This week alone, three volunteer crews will complete work at Lion Mountain, Dollar/Woods Lake, and Spencer Mountain.  Some of the work is routine maintenance, while some targeted specific projects.  We deeply appreciate the hours donated by the community to keep the Whitefish Trail in great shape.

This week’s rain will likely expose the occasional clogged drain, and trail crews will continue working hard before the snow flies.  If you see a trail crew working on the trail, stop and say thank you as 100% of our community trail is maintained by volunteers.  Ask any other trail organization, land manager, or trail manager and they would be impressed.  Trail maintenance can be one the most difficult areas to generate volunteer interest and funding.  We are lucky that the Whitefish Trail has so much support.

The Whitefish Trail Run and Half Marathon on October 9th is the perfect way to end a great season on our community trail. Come out to the Whitefish Bike Retreat with friends and family to celebrate the season.  If you are eager, sign up for a new Half Marathon course that will lollipop around Woods Lake, Dollar Lake, and Little Beaver Lake. A 10K, 5K, and 2-mile family fun run are great shorter options.

Overall, the trail is in great shape.  Trail crews have removed all the known trees on the trail, including the big, nasty stump dropping down to Little Beaver Lake. If you see any adverse trail conditions or have any ideas for trail projects, please let us know. Sections of Woods Lake have the biggest Larch population on the trail, making for quite a color show in late October. Get out to those special spots on the Whitefish Trail before snow blocks access.