Riverfront Trail (MT)


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Riverfront Trail (MT) Facts

States: Montana
Counties: Missoula
Length: 3.5 miles
Trail end points: Kim Williams Trail, just north of Campus Dr. and S. Van Buren Ave. and N. Russell St. and Liberty Ln.
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Ballast, Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6032092
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Riverfront Trail (MT) Description

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. 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. The pathway provides beautiful river views and easy, non-motorized access to the campus, neighborhoods, parks, shopping, restaurants and a host of other attractions in Missoula.

The Riverfront Trail follows the former 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 extant tracks on the north side of the river still carry freight, passenger service to Missoula ended in the 1970s.

On the trail's east end, you can connect to the Kim Williams Trail. About 2 blocks west of McCormick Park, you can also 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 and Trail Access

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 (MT) Reviews

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 the South side of the Clark Fork River where you find the best parking in McCormick Park, N46.87245 W114.00314 Suspension Bridge N46.87616 W114.01347 goes to streets on southside, trails not complete. Trails locally known as the Ron Mac Donald Riverfront Trail System. Noel Keller 17 Apr 09

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