By Andi Bourne

Public priorities sought for county Pathways and Trails Plan


December 9, 2021

MISSOULA - Missoula County Parks, Trails and Open Lands is in the second phase of the Pathways and Trails Plan. They are seeking feedback from Missoula County residents via an interactive map and a survey to prioritize the trail projects that are important to them. The deadline for public input on the interactive map and tradition survey for prioritizing projects is Dec. 15.

The overarching goal of the Pathways and Trails Plan is to understand the extent of pathway and trail needs, from development through maintenance, and the resources required to meet those needs. This will lead to strategic development of new facilities as well as implementation of a maintenance regimen upon completion.

As defined on the project website, pathways and trails are: shared use paths that are paved (or a similar material) that are separate from the roadways; major sidewalks outside of Missoula’s urban core; and similar active transportation facilities. They are not natural surface trails. The planning effort will consider connecting asphalt pathways to trailheads and other recreational opportunity but will not propose any new or improved equestrian, mountain bike or hiking trails.

There are two survey pieces: 

The interactive map allows the public to click on projects that are important and hit “like” as well as leave comments. Find the map at The second part of the survey is a questionnaire where participants are asked to identify priorities and rank the various projects in order of importance.

In the Potomac Valley there are three new trails proposed:

• Road to the Buffalo: 37.3-mile trail that starts north from Highway 200 along McNamara Lane paralleling the Johnsrud Park Road to Ninemile Prairie Road, crossing Highway 200 to Flashs Honor Lane to Sunset Hill Road and tying back in to Highway 200 to the county line.

• Highway 200 Trail: 15.7-mile trail along Highway 200 from McNamara Lane to Clearwater Junction.

• Potomac to Hole in the Wall Trail: 3.6-mile trail from Highway 200 along Potomac Road to Hole in the Wall Road.

From Clearwater Junction north on Highway 83 to the Swan Valley there are eight proposed projects:

• Bonner to Seeley Trail: 13.1-mile trail from Clearwater Junction north along Highway 83 to the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitors Center.

• Placid Lake Trail: 2.8-mile trail from Highway 83 west along Placid Lake Road to Placid Lake State Park.

• Seeley Placemaking and Signage: 1.4 miles from Whitetail Drive to Cedar Lane along Highway 83.

• Seeley School Trails: 2.2-mile trail from School Lane east to the top of Tamarack Drive and then south to Locust Lane. The trail resumes at the bridge by Seeley-Swan High School and follows Airport Road east, turning south of Frontier Drive ending at Canyon Drive. There is also an additional connection from Airport Road to Black Bear Drive across from Seeley-Swan High School.

• Seeley School Trails (Detour): 0.6-mile trail from the bridge around the SSHS parking area and football field to the top of the hill on Airport Road. This trail already exists as a natural trail.

• Seeley Lake Loop Trail: 6.4 miles around the west side of Seeley Lake following Boy Scout Road.

• Seeley Lake Trail Extension: 32.9-mile trail from the Seeley Lake Community Hall north along Highway 83 to the county line north of Beck Road.

• Holland Lake Trail: 2.5-mile trail from Highway 83 east along Holland Lake Road to the Holland Lake Lodge Road.

To learn more about the project and take the survey visit


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