News Flash

Parks and Recreation

Posted on: July 19, 2021

Milwaukee Trail in John Toole Park closed for construction through August

July - August 2021 • Milwaukee Trail Widening & Lighting Upgrades

The Milwaukee Trail in Toole Park will be closed for approximately eight weeks, beginning about July 20. Please plan on alternative routes to avoid construction. Detours and closures will be in place at different times, depending on construction activity. The 4th Street detour will be in effect during the entire project. The Higgins Street detour will begin approximately July 27 and will be in place intermittently throughout the remainder of the project. Detour maps

Trail lights will be off from Boone and Crocket Club (west of Higgins Ave) to Madison Street for the entire 8-week construction period.

The Milwaukee Trail is one of Missoula’s most heavily traveled bicycle-pedestrian routes. A .14-mile trail section adjacent to John Toole Park will be widened from 10 to 14 feet with 2-foot gravel shoulders. The expansion will help accommodate increased use now and in the future.

Preserving the Clark Fork Native Prairie

The project will impact a small portion of the Clark Fork Native Prairie. Parks and Recreation has worked extensively with Prairie volunteers and the City Council to arrive at a plan which meets community needs while preserving as much of the Prairie as possible.

Parks and Recreation will host a restoration project this fall to expand the Clark Fork Native Prairie to both sides of the commuter trail and help stabilize the riverbank. Volunteers will be needed; visit for updates.

Parks Conservation Lands Management Division (CLM) will hand-collect seed from surrounding hills and the Prairie to cultivate several thousand native plants for site restoration. CLM crews have already salvaged dozens of mature native plants from the site to be maintained in the CLM greenhouse and re-planted this fall.

Benefits to the community

    Increase commuter trail width from 10’ with no shoulders to 14’ asphalt trail w/ 2’ gravel shoulders, meeting the adopted standard for the Milwaukee Trail in Downtown Missoula.

    New trail lighting electric service for future trail lighting upgrades. 

    A new 10’ ADA-accessible path from the 4th street cul-de-sac to the Milwaukee Trail.

    Above-ground utility poles along 4th street will be removed.

    The existing shade shelter will be moved and reconstructed by the developer.

    Parks will expand the Clark Fork Native Prairie to both sides of the trail and plant additional native vegetation to stabilize the river bank.


The trail widening project is a public/private partnership between the City of Missoula and developers of a nearby housing project. In exchange for a utility line easement across adjacent parkland and the trail, the developer will pay most of the project costs (~$151,500), with the City contributing a smaller portion (~$24,200.) 

Questions, comments?

Contact Nathan McLeod, Parks and Trails Design/Development Specialist at via email.

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