Mount Helena ADA trail opens to the public

Nolan Lister

Helena’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Open Lands is wrapping up construction of a controversial Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant trail that stretches about a half mile across the foot of Mount Helena.

Department Director Kristi Ponozzo said in a phone interview that the trail will be substantially completed this week. 

Wednesday and Thursday, city crew members spread decomposed granite across the surface of the trail and installed a picnic table.

Plans to build out an overlook and turn-around, complete with a bench, at the top of the trail have been put on hold until the spring.

About 15 members of Rotary Club of Helena volunteered to place stone edges along the trail for the visually impaired.

Rotary Club of Helena Immediate Past President Tony Zammit, who initially proposed the project to the city and has largely spearheaded its development, said his organization contributed $7,000 toward the trail’s completion. He noted that AARP of Montana contributed another $5,000 and the Montana Bicycle Guild contributed $1,000.

“One of the goals at the outset was to minimize the impact of this trail on the parks and rec budget,” Zammit said.

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