Silver Bow Creek Greenway


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Silver Bow Creek Greenway Facts

States: Montana
Counties: Deer Lodge, Silver Bow
Length: 6.1 miles
Trail end points: Santa Clause Rd. (Rocker) and Palmer Rd. and Martin St. (Ramsay)
Trail surfaces: Asphalt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6452104
Trail activities: Bike, Wheelchair Accessible, Mountain Biking, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Silver Bow Creek Greenway Description

The creation of the Silver Bow Creek Greenway is part of a massive Superfund cleanup of Silver Bow Creek, which has suffered more than a century of pollution from the copper and silver mining operations during the 19th century in Butte and Anaconda. The project includes the creation of the Greenway Service District (GSD), a collaboration of Anaconda-Deer Lodge and Butte-Silver Bow counties, which is responsible for the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of the Greenway System Corridor along 22 miles of Silver Bow Creek.

For those who knew what this area used to look like in recent decades, the clean-up effort would amaze you. Rust-colored soils and mine tailings are now sprouting tall grasses, clover and willows. And Silver Bow Creek? Crystal clear.

Currently, 6 miles of the trail are open in two disconnected segments, with more segments under construction. The longer segment begins in Rocker, a western suburb of Butte, and travels to the Rocker Depot before continuing west to I-15. It includes several pedestrian bridges across Silver Bow Creek and a pedestrian underpass (below a railroad bridge). Only about a mile-long gap exists between this segment and the next. The shorter segment—about a mile long—runs between the Silver Bow and Ramsay communities.

For a longer ride, it’s easy to connect from the Silver Bow Creek Greenway to the BA&P Hill Trail, which leads up to Butte Hill. From the Rocker Depot parking area, travel east about 2 blocks on Grizzly Trail road. When you see the trestle bridge ahead, look for a narrow yellow gravel trail on the right that leads up to the top of the trestle. The BA&P Hill Trail is gravel for the first 2 miles, then paved for the rest of the way uphill, but it gets much steeper at the eastern end.

Parking and Trail Access

To access the eastern end of the Rocker section, from Butte take Centennial Avenue to Santa Claus Lane and turn west (left). Go under the Interstate and when you come to the first major bend in the road, you will see an access point marked with a gate on the right (west) side of the road. Parking is limited on the dirt shoulder at the bend.

To reach the western end of the Rocker section, continue along Santa Claus Road and turn right onto S. Rocker Road; you will immediately go over the railroad tracks. (Use caution as there is no gate and the tracks are still being used.) A short distance later, S. Rocker Road T-bones Grizzly Trail road; turn left and look for the large gravel parking area just past the IT Club bar on the left. Future plans call for picnic tables, interpretive signs and a play park here.

To reach the Ramsay section, take Exit 216 off I-90 and head (south into the little hamlet of Ramsay along Palmer Street. There is very limited parking at the end of Palmer Street near the trailhead (1-2 cars). You can also park along Palmer Street on the side with the houses but not on the other side of Palmer.

Silver Bow Creek Greenway Reviews

For those who love Nordic skiing and train year-round, this is a wonderfully, smooth, safe and interesting trail. There's just enough terrain so you can "change gears" and work on various techniques. Traffic is very light most days, a few bikers and walkers. Come on out, Mile-High Nordic! Let's get these kids training. Skiers are made in the most World Cup coaches will tell you.

Easy hike, mostly paved good waterfowl near the creek

As a novice biker I can attest that this Greenway system is fantastic. Prejudice may prevail since I happen to be a third generation Butte person who happens to be on the Greenway committee. When finished this trail way will be the envy of all Montana communities. The final completion may not be until 2018 but the segments now finished provide excellent biking and walking.

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