There's a lot going on right now regarding trail access in Missoula, just as the riding season is finally upon us, so we wanted to send an update.
It's come to our attention that drastically increased use at Deep Creek is straining relations with neighbors in the area.
As we've mentioned here and there, MTB Missoula has for the last year been engaged with the Trust for Public Lands' project to conserve a large swath of private land in the Deep Creek area. The project includes most of the Deep Creek trails, as well as thousands more acres of land. This is a large scale effort using federal funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, so it's inherently a slow moving process. We're working to find solutions that allow for permanent public access, maintain the character of the trails, expand the network, and can provide the facilities needed to handle increased use, like suitable parking. This is going to take awhile.
In the meantime, we ask you to reduce your use of the area, especially in regards to shuttling and parking along the already-narrow road. Maintaining good relationships is absolutely essential for long-term preservation of the riding scene. We hope to soon find some near-term measures that can demonstrate the mountain bike community's commitment to being good neighbors.
Again, this is going to take awhile. There's a lot of positive discussions taking place between potential land managers, so it's really important that we all, personally, prioritize the long term success of the area. We extend our deepest thanks for your help with this!
Many other good things are in the works:
We'll begin construction next week on a 1-mile connection known as the "Woodsy Trail", from the Barmeyer trail to the High, Wide, and Handsome trail we built last year, which will be the last piece in the South Hills Spur area. Projected opening of the whole Woodsy-HWH network is in June! Please wait till the full opening is advertised before checking it out, but if you want an early look, come to one of our volunteer days.
In mid-summer, we'll get started on the 4.5 mile House of Sky trail, which will run from Mount Dean Stone (picking up from High, Wide, and Handsome) east along the ridge, over Mitten Mt, to West Fork Deer Creek Road. Once done and combined with HWH, this will create a brand-new, bike friendly, 9-mile singletrack along the southern side of Pattee Canyon. We can't overstate our excitement about this, as all together with HWH, it's the first big result of the work we've been doing on the Dean Stone project since waaaay back in 2016. Construction will take most of 2021 so the projected opening is not until 2022, but there will be many volunteer opportunities up there this summer and fall.
Finally, Missoula Gives starts next Thursday, so we'll once again be asking for your support to continue our work toward more trails in Missoula. We were blown away by the contributions made last spring, which totaled about $27,000. Here's to the future!
Cheers and happy riding,