Hit the trail this fall

Story by Clare Menzel

Daylight hours are in shorter supply come fall, and if you’ve ever raced the sunset to get out-of-doors after the end of the workday, you’ve seen the benefit to backyard trail networks like The Whitefish Trail and Foy’s to Blacktail Trails. With trailheads in close proximity to downtown Whitefish and Kalispell, these mixed-use paths offer hikers, cyclists, and equestrians easy access to the natural world.

With its closest trailhead just a five-minute drive from the heart of Whitefish, the Whitefish Trail System offers recreationalists an array of options for looped and out-and-back adventures. Forty-two miles of trail reach out from 12 trailheads, connecting quiet lakes, old growth forests, and scenic lookouts. Haskill Basin, the trail’s newest addition, reaches 5.5 miles from Whitefish to Big Mountain.

Less than 10 minutes from downtown Kalispell, the 440-acre Herron Park is home to the bulk of trails within the Foy’s to Blacktail Trails system. Climb to Foy’s Overlook via a number of trails, creating a custom loop depending on how far you’d like to travel. Follow the Chase trail through the 160-acre John Chase conservation easement to an overlook with stunning views. The network’s namesake trail links Herron Park to Blacktail Mountain, which sits on U.S. Forest Service land near Lakeside.

Find more information at www.whitefishlegacy.org and www.foystoblacktailtrails.org.