One of Missoula’s most popular trailheads is getting a makeover this spring and summer to add parking, accessibility features, trailhead amenities, and a seasonal restroom. The North Hills Waterworks trailhead, located at the intersection of Greenough Dr. and Minkler Loop, will be closed for construction from April 15 to mid-July. The remainder of the North Hills Open Space Preserve will remain open and accessible from other trailheads.
During construction, hikers can access the North Hills from the Froehlich trailhead (Orange and I-90) and the Mountain View and Sunlight trailheads on Duncan Drive. Visit the Waterworks Trailhead project for an alternative trailheads map and more information about the project.
The Waterworks Trailhead project includes reconstruction of the trailhead’s access road, a new parking area, construction of a ½-mile universally accessible loop trail, a native plant demonstration garden and interpretative education. The new trailhead will be located on Missoula Water property, and the project was made possible by a partnership between Parks and Recreation and the City-owned water utility.
Parking is somewhat limited at the alternative trailheads, so residents are asked to carpool or use non-motorized transportation. Trail users should leash dogs in parking lots and within 200 yards of the trailhead, park in designated areas only, and be respectful of adjacent property owners.
Additional open space access points include the Cherry St., Lincoln Hills, and Tamarack trailheads on Mt. Jumbo, the Maurice Ave. and Gasworks trailheads on Mt. Sentinel, and the Duncan Drive and Lincolnwood trailheads to the Rattlesnake Greenway and USFS Rattlesnake National Recreation Area. The city parks and trails map and additional trail information are posted at www.missoulaparks.org.
The total project cost, including design services and construction, is $798,143. Funding sources include $170,000 in 2018 Open Space Bond funds, a $50,000 Montana FWP Recreation Trails Program Grant, $388,143 in state gas tax funds and $125,000 in developer impact fees. In addition, Missoula Water has contributed $65,000 to the project.
For more information, visit the Waterworks Trailhead project or contact Conservation Lands Manager Jeff Gicklhorn at (406) 552-6691.