Mountain bikers will soon have more than double the downhill experience at Whitefish Mountain Resort as five miles of trail will be added this summer. Work on the resort’s five new trails began last October and resumed May 8. The resort is optimistic that trails will be ready to ride by mid-summer; weather permitting.
“It’s a long time coming,” said Josh Knight events and recreation manager at Whitefish Mountain Resort. “Four years of planning in partnership with Flathead National Forest and professional trail builders has finally come to fruition. These trails will offer riders more choices and variety to our lift-served terrain and more than doubles our present downhill network. The word around the campfire is stoked.”
Four of the five new trails will be added to the upper mountain, including two top-to-bottom trails, the backbone of which is Kashmir, a 2.54-mile expert only trail that will run along the west ridge of the mountain towards the pod of existing trails in the Chair 3 area. Kashmir will intersect with the existing Summit Trail, an intermediate trail, six times allowing riders options to get on and off the trail.
The most dramatic addition will be the 1.7 mile Freebird trail which starts at the top of Ptarmigan Bowl and heads right down the main drainage underneath Chair 1 featuring berms, jumps and quick descents before connecting to the bottom of the Runaway Train trail.
The shortest new trail at .21 mile, GNR is not to be scoffed at with 1,090 of vertical. This new trail will hop off the Summit Trail near the top and pops into the uppermost stretches of Connie's Coulee for a more technical start to a rider’s descent.
Classic Rock adds .31 miles of rocky descent connecting Kashmir to the Summit Trail, and will provide an additional option for expert riders on their way down the mountain.
Finally Overflow will become the main route in an area filled with old school trails. A rework of the old Dave's Dive jump line, Overflow will feature a big jump line option to a fun and flowy finish.
Whitefish Mountain Resort has hired renowned trail builder Pete Costain and his company Terraflow Trails, a member of the Professional Trail Builders Association, to assist in building the additions to the bike park. Costain has six years of professional building experience including his work on the Whitefish Trail and more than 20 years trail building overall. Additionally Costain is based in Whitefish and has been biking and skiing the mountain for well over a decade so he knows it intimately and understands what riders are looking for in a flow trail.