At the end of September, after years of planning and months of excitement, Five Valleys, our partners, and dozens of volunteers gathered to build some of the first trails on Mount Dean Stone for National Public Lands Day.
Over 75 hardworking volunteers, along with partners from REI Missoula, MTB Missoula, CIty of Missoula Parks and Recreation, and the Montana Conservation Corps, worked to build the Barmeyer Loop, named for the Barmeyer Family that donated the easement the trail lies on. Five Valleys worked with the City and the Missoula Open Space Bond program to move the property into City hands last December.
Even though it was a rainy September day, volunteers armed with shovels, rakes, pulaskis and a love of our open lands worked for several hours to scratch out this important new section of trail. The Barmeyer Loop will one day connect to Pattee Canyon at the yet-undeveloped Barmeyer Trailhead and will lead up the South Hills Spur.
“[The Barmeyer Loop Trail] starts down in Pattee Canyon and will come up and do a loop through the property,” Morgan Valliant, Missoula's conservation lands manager, told the Missoula Current during the workday. “Our hope is to have this area open to the public by spring."
While the trailhead and necessary trail connections are still under construction, the middle section of Barmeyer Loop Trail remains closed to public use. The City plans to start work to connect the Barmeyer Loop Trail to the South Hills Spur in early 2018. Meanwhile, our staff is continuing to work with private landowners to make the connections between the Mount Dean Stone project’s two major north and south portions, creating a continuous, connected community open space.
A tremendous thank you to our hardworking volunteers and our great partners for helping to make the workday a success!
To learn all about the greater Mount Dean Stone project, which is seeking to add over 4,200 acres to Missoula's open space, visit our Mount Dean Stone project page.
All photos courtesy of LJ Dawson