Officials offer preview of western Mount Helena trail project

Nolan Lister

Earlier this week, Helena Open Lands staff gave the public a preview of their planned revamp of hiking trails within the recently acquired Whyte property on the city’s Westside. 

Open Lands Manager Brad Langsather said a crew will eliminate about a mile and a half of what he called “social trails” this summer. About a mile and a half more will be incorporated into a professionally designed trail connecting soon-to-be annexed land to the south to Northwest Passage, an existing official trail that stretches across the northern slope of Mount Helena and connects with Westridge Heights subdivision.

“This is the last important piece of the puzzle in the larger connectivity picture. It’s so nice to finally have access to this corner of the park,” Langsather said, referring to the about 900 acres of open lands his crew oversees.

He said that in addition to increasing open lands access for the general public, the recent shuffling of ownership in the area also increased access for city workers and emergency responders.

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Tuesday’s “field trip” to the property was led by Assistant Open Lands Manager Tyler Wock and

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