Rules & Reminders
The Whitefish Trail is a multi-use trail that is used year round by locals and visitors alike. We ask that all users of the trail respect other trails users, wildlife and neighbors of the Whitefish Trail. Here are a few important things to remember:
Bikers should yield to hikers and both must yield to horseback riders.
Step off the trail on the downhill side to allow horses to pass. Because bikes move quickly and relatively quietly, please let others know when you are approaching, control your speed, and never startle wildlife.
The Whitefish Trail is a non-motorized trail system.
Under Montana state law, this means e-bikes are not allowed anywhere on the trail, including pedal-assist bikes.
The Whitefish Trail is a user maintained trail.
Everyone maintains the trail – do not cut switchbacks or create new trails. Please avoid muddy conditions.
Dog walkers must have control of dogs at all times.
Dogs should never chase wildlife. If your dog is not under strict voice control, they must be leashed. Please always remove pet waste and be aware that mutt mitts are provided at all trailheads.
Be aware that ashes from smoking can easily start a fire.
During the heat of the summer, vegetation quickly dries out. The trail is day use only and campfires and fireworks are not allowed. Additionally, shooting a firearm is not allowed within ¼ mile of any trailhead.
Many lakes surrounding Whitefish are home to loons.
There are known loon nesting sites on Spencer Lake and in the Beaver Lakes basin. Loons are very sensitive to human disturbance and if repeatedly disturbed loons will often abandon their nests. We ask boaters, swimmers and anglers to not come within 150 yards of a loon or posted nesting site.
Remember we are in bear country.
Ways to stay safe include hiking in groups, keeping control of your dog, carrying bear spray, keeping food locked in vehicles, and keeping a safe distance from wildlife. Hunting is allowed in this area so remember to wear orange and stay alert. Archery season: September-October. Rifle season: October- November.
There are inherent risks in using the trail system.
Signpost on the trail display emergency location numbers. Emergency service responders use these numbers to identify your exact location in the event of an emergency. If you are injured or come across an injured user, call 911. Report the nearest emergency response location number. Stay calm and wait for help.
Portions of the Whitefish Trail travel through private property.
Please respect private lands and stay on the trail corridor. Roads leading to trailheads also travel by private residences and we ask that you control your speed and be mindful of dust. If there’s dust behind your car, please slow down!