Forest Service grant helps fund South Hills trailhead upgrades

Nolan Lister

The United States Forest Service awarded Helena Parks, Recreation and Open Lands a nearly $50,000 grant for upgrades to the Old Shooting Range trail in the South Hills. 

The grant award, totaling $47,150, comes from the USFS Missouri River Resource Advisory Council. The trailhead is located about a mile south of Davis Street’s southern terminus, will include a paved parking lot, two picnic tables and a double-vaulted toilet.

The project also includes the construction of a foot bridge that crosses over a storm water ditch near the trailhead and the addition of 12 miles of trail, connecting the Old Shooting Range trailhead to the Park City trailhead.

Helena Department of Parks, Recreation and Open Lands Director Kristi Ponozzo said in an email Friday that the grant money will cover the cost of the double-vaulted toilet, USFS work on installing the toilet as well as spraying the trailhead and surrounding areas for noxious weeds for three years.

The city intends to contribute a little more than $38,000 in the form of city crew labor, the picnic tables, the foot bridge, the parking lot and an accessible parking pad, Ponozzo said.

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