Updated: Jun 9, 2022
Digs are scheduled and running! Check the dates and info here
We've mentioned the Wallman Trail project a few times on social media and emails, but want to take this opportunity to give a more thorough update in advance of the weekly volunteer digs scheduled in June.
The latest re-route is the continuation (and culmination) of a ~20 year process of updating the trail. Originally, it was just an old jeep road climbing over Wallman Saddle from the Rattlesnake Corridor. Somewhere around 2000, groups such as the previous incarnation of MTB Missoula (LIMB), IMBA, and the Forest Service worked together to make a re-route of the upper portions of the trail. Around 2015-2016, as part of a larger NEPA project analysis that included the Fenceline re-route, the Missoula Ranger Districts crews re-routed the bottom of the Spring Gulch side, bringing most of the route from old, rutted doubletrack into fresh, twisty singletrack. One section of the old road remained: the bottom section of the Corridor side, about 0.7 miles.
A couple years ago, when we heard the newest phase could be moving forward, we were excited to lend our expertise in layout to the project. Through careful design, trails can be fun for mountain biking while minimizing user conflict and improving sustainability, so when any new trail construction or re-routes are going to happen, we want to be involved -- this project is a perfect example of the power of collaboration. Over these last couple years, MCC did the lion's share of the fundraising, securing contributions from Montana FWP RTP program, One Track Mind Foundation, REI, and Missoula County RAC. The Missoula Ranger District completed an environmental analysis and worked with MTB Missoula and MCC on potential layouts.
In 2022, Montana Conservation Corps (MCC), the Missoula Ranger District, and MTB Missoula are working hard to complete the long-running Wallman project. MCC crews have already put in one big hitch of digging, which combined with a volunteer day, has produced almost half of the new trail already. MCC crews return next week (May 23), and MTB Missoula volunteer days on Wallman will resume on Tuesdays in June.
We're looking forward to more classic, fun singletrack in the Rattlesnake with bike-optimized corners, and are always on the hunt for opportunities to keep some rocks and roots in the trail. Work is expected to be completed by fall of this year. To lend a hand, head over to our calendar to find the next work day!