The Bitterroot Path is a paved trail alongside US 93 between Lolo and Hamilton in Montana's scenic Bitterroot Valley. The sidepath provides a safe active transportation and recreation alternative to the busy highway. Along its nearly 40-mile length, trail users are treated to stunning views of the Bitterroot Range to the west and the Sapphire Mountains to the east.
A short section of the trail in Lolo actually parallels US 12 for a short distance before turning south at US 93. In the future, trail users will be faced with a choice here: continue south via the Bitterroot Path to reach Hamilton, or take the planned Missoula to Lolo Trail (known as the M2L) seven miles north to the existing Bitterroot Branch Trail in downtown Missoula. The M2L trail is scheduled to be completed in June 2016.
For now, the Bitterroot Path is your only option, so head south along the west side of US 93 to reach the small towns of Florence and Victor. Between the two, another sidepath along State Route 269 provides access to Stevensville, a small town recognized as Montana's first permanent settlement.
At SR 363, the trail switches to the east side of US 93. Continue along the state highway to reach the small community of Corvallis. Farther south (just north of the trail's crossing of the Bitterroot River), Blodgett Park offers a water overlook and shady spot to rest.
In Hamilton, the trail becomes a bit more difficult to follow—resembling a sidewalk at times—but stick to US 93 and you'll be fine. Any minor aggravation is worth it, too, as Hamilton is the largest city along the trail's route, and as such offers scores of shops and restaurants. Many of these can be found on W. Main Street/SR 531, just a block west of the Bitterroot Path.
The trail ends south of Hamilton at another highway bridge over the Bitterroot River. Here, the locally-famous Angler's Roost acts as an informal trailhead. Stop in to purchase food, drinks, maps, books, and hunting and fishing gear. RVers and campers may want to begin their trail trek here instead of Lolo—the site offers a large RV Park and camping right along the Bitterroot River.
Parking for the Bitterroot Path is available at several park and ride lots along US 93. Refer to the TrailLink map for specific locations and directions.