Old Yellowstone Trail

Montana

2 Reviews

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Old Yellowstone Trail Facts

States: Montana
Counties: Powell
Length: 7.5 miles
Trail end points: Sawmill Road (Garrison) and West of Jake Creek Rd, North of Deer Lodge
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone, Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 11123552

Old Yellowstone Trail Description

The Old Yellowstone Trail follows the old right-of-way of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad in southwestern Montana. The CMSPP, more commonly called the Milwaukee Road, was active in this part of the country until the 1980s when it filed for bankruptcy. Powell County purchased the corridor in 2017 using funds from the Natural Resource Damage Program with the aim of building a non-motorized trail stretching from the small community of Garrison south to Deer Lodge. The trail combines the scenic outdoors and compelling frontier history in the ways that only Montana can.

The first 7.5 miles of the trail is open for use. Starting at the Garrison trailhead near Sawmill Road & Garrison Back Road, trail users will enjoy the proximity to the meandering Clark Fork River. Refurbished railroad bridges take users over the river at different points. A second trailhead is located about two-thirds of the way down, at Kohls Crossing/ Rock Creek Cattle Road. The trail currently ends about 2 miles south of this trailhead, and about 4.5 miles north of Deer Lodge.

A second phase of construction will close the gap to Deer Lodge through Grant-Kohls Ranch, a historic site and working ranch run by the National Parks Service where the history and development of the Western cattle industry comes to life.

This trail is a link in the series of cross-country bike-ped pathways known as the Great American Rail Trail.

Parking and Trail Access

There are two designated access points: In Garrison, the trailhead is near Sawmill Road at the north end of the trail. There is a second trailhead at Kohrs Bend/ Rock Creek Cattle Road.  Both trailheads have parking, vault toilets, trash cans and picnic benches.

Old Yellowstone Trail Reviews

Ridin' The GART

This trail is a segment of the Great American Rail-Trail (GART).
Location: Deer Lodge, MT
Parking: Garrison Trailhead
Trail Condition: Gravel with some real rough patches and a short nice section of compacted road base. A work in progress.
Signage: Information sign at both trailheads. Trail map at trailhead indicates a distance of 10 miles but really is only 7.5 miles as stated on TrailLink. Looks like some mileage (.5 mile increments) signage will be going up but not there yet.
Comments: This trail takes you through the countryside a distance from I-90. I saw several deer near the trail and no other trail users. Most certainly a Mt. Bike trail at this time. Hopefully the goal is put in compacted road base the full length as they have in a short length of the trail. The trail is still being worked but is passable. As with other rail-trails, long straight stretches and level. Potential for a nice trail away from it all.

Very nice trail!!

Loving the development of this trail! Beautiful surroundings and fairly smooth terrain.

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