VTC - North Fork Blackfoot

Photo by Meg Killen

Project: North Fork Blackfoot

Landscape: Blackfoot-Clearwater Valley

Dates: May 3 - 6, 2018

Location: Hobnail Tom Trail - Seeley Lake R.D.
Project Work: Trail Maintenance & Clearing
Camping: Frontcountry Car Camping
Project Difficulty: Strenuous
Volunteer Limit: 8
Volunteer Slots Available: YES
Meeting Time: Thursday May 3, 7:00 PM
Meeting Place: North Fork Blackfoot Trailhead



Project Description

The North Fork of the Blackfoot River flows from the Scapegoat Wilderness, the southernmost district of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. "The Bob," as it is lovingly referred to by the adventurers who treasure it, is one of the nation's premier Wilderness areas. The Hobnail Tom Trail is a popular early-season access point into The Bob.

Hikers, packers and Forest Service staff regularly use the trail in May and June, but there's work to be done before anyone can start their journey. MWA's Volunteer Trail Crew is kicking off our season by clearing the way.

Volunteers will spend the weekend logging out downed trees from the trail and performing trail maintenance on sections where the trail has sloughed over. You'll start your adventurous summer with good people, hard work, and tranquil river vistas. This project is a great opportunity to join the efforts of the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project and help steward a special landscape.

About the Area

The Scapegoat Wilderness was designated in 1972 through a grassroots community effort and earned a place in history as the first citizen-initiated wilderness area in the nation. That same collaborative spirit is alive today in the Blackfoot Clearwater Partnership. For the last decade, timber, recreation, and conservation interests have worked together to hash out lasting solutions to public lands management in the Blackfoot-Clearwater valley. The resulting Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act, which was recently introduced in Congress by Senator Tester, is the fruit of their labors. 

The BCSA would extend the Wilderness protection to an additional 80,000 acres, permanently protecting the North Fork of the Blackfoot, Monture Creek, Grizzly Basin, the wild Swan Front, and the West Fork of the Clearwater. These areas provide crucial habitat for grizzly bears, westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout, and the largest herd of mountain goats in the vicinity of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The BCSA also increases the pace and scale of forest restoration, providing a boost to the local timber economy. Mountain bikers, hunters, snowmobiliers, and anglers all also stand to gain from the passing of the BCSA.

Click for more information on the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act

Meeting Time & Place

Thursday May 3, 7:00 PM @ North Fork Blackfoot Trailhead
Directions from Seeley Lake, MT:

  • Head south on Highway 83
  • From the junction of Montana Highways 83 and 20 (also known as Clearwater Junction) travel east on Montana Highway 200 for 19.5 miles
  • Turn north on North Fork Blackfoot Road #5550 and follow the signs 10.5 miles on a gravel road to the trailhead

Camping Details

We'll be frontcountry car camping at the North Fork Blackfoot Trailhead. This will be a primitive set-up. Volunteers will help set up camp for the week, including installing a kitchen tarp. 

Food and Water

MWA will provide all meals and cooking equipment. However, please arrive Thursday evening having already eaten or prepared to make your own supper. Your first meal provided will be breakfast on Friday the 4th. Last meal provided will be lunch on Sunday the 6th. Dinner is not provided on Sunday evening. Volunteers are expected to help with food preparation and clean up on a rotating basis, but your crew leader will handle primary kitchen responsibilities. 

More Information