Missoula's Riverfront Trail follows both the north and south sides of the Clark Fork River through city parks downtown and near the university campus. Though it's not quite clear where the Riverfront Trail on the south side of the river ends and where the Kim Williams Trail begins, it doesn't matter to locals—nor should it to you. The important thing is the trail is part of a larger city-wide system that links the east side of the valley at the University of Montana to west-side neighborhoods. Another thing you'll like are the beautiful river views and easy, non-motorized accessed to campus, neighborhoods, parks, shopping, restaurants and a host of other attractions in this awesome city.
The Riverfront Trail follows an abandoned right-of-way along the old Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific railroad, commonly known as the Milwaukee Road. The portions in Montana were built between 1906 and 1909, serving as both a freight and passenger line. With more than 656 miles of electrified track, the Milwaukee Road was ground-breaking in terms of long distance electrification. Though extent tracks on the north side of the river still carry freight, passenger service to Missoula ended in the 1970s.
About 2 blocks west of McCormick Park, you can pick up two other trails: the Milwaukee Trail, which heads another 1.8 miles farther west, and the Bitterroot Trail, which goes south more than 50 miles all the way to Hamilton.
Parking is available on city streets and in public lots in downtown Missoula and at McCormick Park (Cregg Lane and Cottonwood Street). You can also park on the University Campus, but heed parking restrictions to avoid being ticketed.
Riverfront Trail / Ron McDonald Riverfront Trail System
Lots of activity, “A Carousel for Missoula”, Dragon Hollow Play Lot, Fishing, Kayaks, Picnic, Reading, and dogs walking people, on these scenic trails. A Footbridge to U of Montana, and one under the Madison St Bridge, extend the ride to the trails on ...read more