We are incredibly blessed with an amazing range of recreational options available to us here in the Flathead Valley. Between hiking, shooting, fishing, ATV-ing and camping (I could go on
forever), it can be hard to figure out how to divide your time. But once the snow dries up every
spring one thing is certain, I can’t wait to get out exploring on my mountain bike. That crunch
of gravel under the tires; the ability to cover so much terrain so quickly, to get deep within the wilderness with minimal effort has always thrilled me.
Lucky for us, there are countless trails scattered around the Flathead Valley like spiderwebs covering different nooks and crannies. While I always love exploring new trails, there are a few favorites on standby that I always find myself going back to.
Here are a few of my favorites:
The Whitefish Trail - Whitefish
This extensive trail network currently measures at 36 miles and ten trailheads with more trail
being added yearly. These trails are well maintained and easy to access from anywhere in the
town of Whitefish. True multisport trails, you’ll definitely find yourself coming across some other
people enjoying the wooded trails on bikes, horses and on foot. My two current favorite rides
here are the Swift Creek to Smith Lake section and the Lion Mountain Trailhead to the scenic
overlook above Skyles Lake. The former is a 5-6 mile out and back with a beautiful lake that
makes for a lovely spot for a quick rest or for any four legged riding companions to take a dip
and cool off. The latter is a 2.5-3.5 mile loop heading out to a scenic overlook that is perfect for
catching a sunset on warm summer evenings!
To view the trail map, visit: Whitefish Trail
Herron Park / Foys to Blacktail Trails - Kalispell
Whenever I find myself over in Kalispell, I always make a little time to sneak over to Herron Park
to take a quick pedal or jog on the network of trails winding through the trees and mountainside
like snakes through the grass. There are currently about 15 miles of trails stacked through the
woods leading to the occasional picnic area or scenic overlook. Hikers and trail runners are just
as plentiful as cyclists out here and there are a few trails that are open to horses as well. Grab a
backpack with some snacks and head to an overlook for a great view of the valley stretching from Big Mountain down to Flathead Lake.
To view the trail map, visit: Herron Park
Tally Lake Area - West Valley
Comprised of a mix of fire roads and old forest service trails, this trail network is a must ride for
serious mountain bikers in The Valley. With a healthy mix of plunging downhills, healthy climbs
and enough roots and rocks to make a full suspension bike almost but not quite mandatory
here, these trails are definitely geared toward the more experienced rider. Most trails are set up
nicely for shuttling if you want to avoid long fire road climbs, but I prefer to earn my downhills
when I have the chance. Just make sure you consult a good map like that on trailforks. My
personal favorite out here is the Reid Divide Trail to the Bony Gulch turnoff. There is ample
parking at the bottom of Bony Gulch or back at the turnoff for the climb and very few things are
as good as taking a quick dip to cool off after completing this strenuous ride.
To view the trail map visit, : Tally Lake
Pig Farms - West Valley
One of our local expert's favorites! This perfect after work trail network is made up of dozens of trails circling through trees, meadows, hillsides and along the occasional lake. Great for riders of all ability levels, these trails offer endless opportunities for exploring in fact, it can often be challenging to ride the same trails twice as there are so many out here. But don’t worry if you find yourself lost all trails inevitably lead back to the trailhead parking lot.
To view the trail map, visit: Pig Farms
Have fun out there and drop me a note if you have some trail recommendations of your own.