Whitefish Trail System Plans Expansion

Popular trail receives two major grants

By Amanda Rubano
A mountain biker navigates the Whitefish Trails. Beacon File Photo

The Whitefish Trail system continues to expand as organizers mount efforts to “close the loop” and complete the sprawling network connecting Whitefish to Big Mountain — a lofty goal that was recently buoyed by a pair of grants awarded to Whitefish Legacy Partners.

The nonprofit Whitefish Legacy Partners (WLP) was presented with two major grants totaling $240,000, which will be used to fund trails, trailheads, and trail surveys. The grants will fund five-plus miles of new, single-track trail connecting Big Mountain to town.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund provided $150,000, which requires a one-to-one match from local donors, while the Recreational Trails Program provided a $90,000 grant that will require a 60:40 match from donors. A $20,000 match will come from volunteer hours, while the remaining money will be pursued locally.

One of the two new trailheads will be located on Big Mountain Road north of Lookout Ridge, while the second trailhead will be a half-mile up Reservoir Road, close to town and an access point to Haskill Basin.

WLP will also partner with Glacier Nordic to continuing grooming trails between Whitefish Mountain Resort and Haskill Basin. Construction for the projects will begin in spring 2017, and organizers hope to “close the loop” by 2020.

Visit www.whitefishlegacy.org.

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