With the weather improving and the trail drying out, we have been busy taking care of some maintenance projects out on the Whitefish Trail. Please do not crowd the trailheads and follow social distancing and state mandated Covid-19 precautions. Read the latest conditions report, learn about upcoming education events, and sign up for this years' Hit the Trail Challenge!
Hit the Trail Challenge returns in May!

The 2nd Annual Hit the Trail Challenge returns this May! Our sponsors are pledging $20,000 in matching funds, and we need your help to get every possible dollar. For every mile logged on the Whitefish Trail during the month of May, $1 will be donated in support of our local trail and protected lands. Help us log 20,000 miles starting in May!

Participate as an individual for FREE or compete as a Workplace Team for $150. Email info@whitefishlegacy.org for more information on creating a Workplace Team. 

Tailwinds Charitable Foundation

How is the WT different during Covid-19?
We have all had to make some changes during the current pandemic, so here are some great reminders on how to stay safe while recreating on our local lands. We appreciate everyone following these guidelines this spring. 

  • Avoid using trails if you are exhibiting any symptoms
  • Always wash hands and sanitize prior to arriving at the trailhead and wear a mask to protect yourself and others

  • Vault toilets have been locked. Plan ahead and use the restroom at home

  • Do not crowd trailheads or linger to socialize after your adventure. Follow distancing guidelines and stay at least 6 feet apart from your trail buddies
  • When passing someone on the trail, say hi and communicate who can step aside. If biking, DO NOT ride around (this will widen the trail and create damage). Yield and step off your bike to let others pass. Respect other trail users.

WT Education Programs Continue!

On Earth Day, Wednesday April 22, we will post a list of scavenger hunt items on our website and on FaceBook. Head out on the Whitefish Trail and capture a photo of each of the items! You'll have until Sunday, April 26 to submit your photos to claim your prize- a free Sweet Peaks cone!

We have continued live-learning on FaceBook. Last week, WT Education Coordinator, Christiane, taught everyone about springtime in the forest through songs, stories, and puppets! This virtual event is geared for youth aged 3-7. 

Follow WLP on FaceBook to learn about upcoming live-learning events, independent field trips, and fun activities outside. 

Whitefish Trail Report - Mid April 
by Alan Myers-Davis, WLP Director of Development 

Family time at Swift Creek. Photo Credit: Pete Sabin

It has been wonderful to see so many families out enjoying the Whitefish Trail these days. With everyone driving separately, the trailheads have been busy, and we have been pleased with the community effort to socially distance while out recreating on our local lands. We hope you're getting outside to soak up vitamin D and to ease any stress or anxiety that has come with the shutdowns. 

Did you notice the trails got muddier last week without any rain? The trails were tacky and drying out nicely and then long sections of the trail became muddy and wet without any precipitation. How does that happen? With the recent deep freeze (nighttime temps in the teens), moisture was squeezed out of the warm ground and froze in the form of 'needle ice'. When those strange looking ice crystals melted in the afternoon, the top layer of ground could not reabsorb the moisture before it happened all over again the next night. With warmer nighttime temps lately, the trail is drying out again. 

We have been taking advantage of the weather to get some maintenance projects done this spring. Did you know Lion Mountain turns 10 years old this year? Normal wear and tear is expected over time, so replacing signs and posts is an annual task, and YOUR donations make it all possible. Some of the first generation signs have become brittle over time, so we are updating trail signs with a more durable, UV-resistant material and replacing sign posts that have broken. 

These projects are made possible by your support. If you have been enjoying the trail this spring, pitch in to help us keep the trail in great shape this year and every year. 

If you arrive to a full trailhead, consider driving to another nearby access, or better yet, leave the car at home and run or bike from town! The DNRC helped clear the 1.5 mile loop at Swift Creek, while trails at Smith Lake are still impassable from downfall. We have gotten reports of 8-10 trees down around Woods Lake, and local mystery volunteers have magically cleared trees from Lupfer. Thank you! We are working to get all trails open and appreciate your patience as we get to those harder to reach sections. 

As you get out to explore the Whitefish Trail this spring, we'd love to see your photos and hear your trail reports! 

DNRC Installing Beetle Pheromone Capsules at Swift Creek and Smith Lake

The DNRC is installing pheromone capsules on standing Douglas Fir trees at Swift Creek and Smith Lake to prevent pine bark beetle infestations. Due to the recent blowdown event, increased bark beetle attacks are expected on standing, green Douglas-fir trees. These pheromone capsules greatly increase standing tree survival. You may notice a non-toxic odor associated with the capsules, and please do not disturb. They will be attached to standing trees approximately 6-8 feet off the ground. 

Additionally, DNRC will be hauling logs this week along East Lakeshore as they work to open Lower Whitefish Lake Road. This entire section of Stillwater State Forest was heavily impacted by the wind event in March. 

More information HERE

If you have been enjoying the Whitefish Trail recently, we need your help with our 2020 fundraising!

Be a WT Friend or Family this year and make an investment in the future of our local lands. 

Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors
The Whitefish Trail relies on the generosity of trail users, conservation-minded supporters, and local businesses to create a year-round, sustainable asset for future generations.    

Mindful Designs is back as a Whitefish Trail Annual Corporate Sponsor! Their expert team builds high quality custom homes with an  emphasis  on  comfort , health, efficiency, and durability. If you are looking to build your Montana dream home, consider a local builder that gives back to the community. 
Thank you  Mindful Designs for being an annual WT Corporate Sponsor!
Five Star Rentals of Montana has been a die hard supporter of WLP since 2012. They understand how the project brings real value to their business and want to give back year after year. Whether you are looking for a long-term rental or the vacation of your dreams, consider an agency that gives back. 

Thank you Five Star Rentals for being an annual WT Corporate Sponsor!