South Hills trail that closed in July reopens with permanent easement

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Nate Kopp, projects and trails coordinator for Prickly Pear Land Trust, hangs a new sign at the Eddye McClure East trailhead on Thursday morning.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record Jesse Chaney

After closing to the public in July, Montana City’s primary access to the South Hills Trail System has reopened with an easement that will keep it public forever.

“It’s a really, really big deal,” Prickly Pear Land Trust Executive Director Mary Hollow said. “It secured forever public access on one of the most popular trails in the system.”

Hollow said a portion of the Eddye McClure East trail was built on private property at least a decade ago with permission from the landowner at the time, but a “No Trespassing” sign was posted at the nearby Martinez Gulch parking area after the land was sold over the summer.

Mike Dowling said he purchased the property with his two daughters and their husbands. Dowling said they posted the signs at the recommendation of their attorney, who warned that they could be liable

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