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Trail Well Traveled – 1/6

Welcome to the Trail Well Traveled!

Each Friday, in partnership with Montana Wilderness Association we will feature a new western Montana trail and then give one lucky listener some cool goodies to help them embark on their journey!

Bigfork Foothills XC Trail

Easy, flat nordic ski trails through a mosaic of forested and logged areas!


Roundtrip: 3.6 miles

Total Elevation Gain: 200 feet

Directions: From Missoula, head north on Highway 93 around Flathead Lake, turning east at its junction with MT 82 (just past Somers). Continue on 82, jogging right onto MT 35 briefly before heading east again on MT 83.

In 2.8 miles, at the school, turn left onto Echo Lake Road. In 2.2 miles, when the road circles around to the east side of the Echo Lake, veer right onto Foothill Road. If you get to the Echo Lake Fishing Access, you’ve gone too far.

There’s a parking lot in about 1.1 miles, at the junction with Jewel Basin Road. Or you can head a little further up Foothill Road to a second parking lot that allows you to make the Little Jewel Loop of the trail optional.

What to expect: Beginning skiers will love these mostly flat, groomed trails through the woods.  Those who get a thrill out of short steep downhill segments should turn left at every junction, making a counter-clockwise loop.  Beginners who prefer a more gentle down slope should turn right at all junctions, but consider skipping the Little Jewel Loop, where the two steep downhills can’t be avoided.

North Shore Nordic Club grooms the trails for nordic and skate skiing five days per week — Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday — from December through March.

Trail maps are posted at the trailhead and at trail junctions, or you can scout your trek in advance by reviewing the maps online HERE.

Or for more detailed information on the club, including trail rules, regulations and weather forecasts, visit the North Shore Nordic Club’s website HERE.

Tip: No dogs are allowed on the sk i trails during the winter!

Also, in accordance with state law, skiers using Bigfork Community Nordic Center are required to have a valid Montana Recreational Use License, available at no cost from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.


Learn more about this trail, file your own trip report and photos, or check out some other great hikes at hikewildmontana.org. And don’t forget to tune in to the Trail 103.3 each Friday at 9:50 am for the next featured trail and your chance to win!

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