MWA Launches Updated Hikewildmontana.org
Find trails less traveled on Montana's first statewide online hiking guide
Accessing and enjoying public lands have become more essential than ever before for the wellbeing of our communities, families, and ourselves.
As Montana enters phase two of Governor Steve Bullock’s reopening plan and tourists begin to flock to the state, physical distancing will continue to be of the utmost importance to keep our communities healthy. Gov. Bullock’s phase-two guidelines include asking individuals to avoid gatherings of more than 50 people where physical distancing isn’t feasible and encouraging vulnerable Montanans to stay home as much as possible.
For those planning to hit their favorite trails this summer, or perhaps National Trails Day on June 6, these physical distancing guidelines may be hard to adhere to while traversing heavily trafficked trails. MWA wants to help.
Hike Wild Montana, our online hiking guide, features more than 350 trails across the state, providing options that will help Montanans stay safe, avoid crowded trails and trailheads, and discover trails less traveled.
Help us maintain and protect Montana’s trails
Hikewildmontana.org is now easier to use than ever before, with new features that make finding the perfect trail a breeze. The guide includes a virtual map that highlights Wilderness and wilderness study area boundaries, provides quick trail details (such as hike length and elevation gain), and links to agency sites on each trail listing with details on Covid-19 facility closures and restrictions.
MWA Executive Director Ben Gabriel says that the new and improved hikewildmontana.org will help Montanans connect with public lands, from Chalk Buttes in the far southeast corner of the state to the Purcell Mountains in the far northwest.
“We’re grateful for our access to wild public lands here in Montana, especially now,” says Gabriel. “Hike Wild Montana’s new features will make it easier for Montanans to safely explore the lands we love.”
Launched in 2016, Hike Wild Montana is the state’s first statewide online hiking guide with trail information crowdsourced from hikers from around the state. In addition to allowing users to search trails, read recent trail reports, and discover local businesses nearby, MWA encourages hikers to submit their favorite trails and share trip reports with the community as well.
MWA is committed to connecting people to the landscapes we’re working to protect through our hiking guide, our Wilderness Walks program, and our trail stewardship program. Since 2012, more than a thousand MWA volunteers have maintained and improved some 350 miles of trails.
“Getting boots on the ground to help keep public trails across the state accessible is an important part of MWA’s conservation work,” says Gabriel. “Connecting people to Montana’s storied landscapes, as Hike Wild Montana does, is also integral to cultivating long-lasting support and reverence for Montana’s wild public lands.”
Most years, more than 300 volunteers join our Trail Crew to swing pulaskis, dig water bars, build bridges, cut out trees, and do the hard work to get our trails ready for your next adventure. This year, we’ve had to cancel our first four weeks of volunteer projects due to Covid-19.
As you’re enjoying the discovery of new trails on Hike Wild Montana, please consider a donation to our trail stewardship program, which is making it possible for us to enjoy, and find solace in, our public lands safely and conveniently.
Your donation will help us maintain what we know is so important and foundational for our mental health and for our economic recovery.
Invest in our trails today, and your gift will have five times the impact. Your $50 can help us access another $200 in grant support, putting $250 to work for our trails. And $100 will put $500 into our trails.
Keely provides communications support for our chapters, programs, and campaigns and manages our social media channels. In her free time, she enjoys fly fishing on Montana's scenic rivers, hiking, camping, and exploring public lands in her home state.