Hikers will soon be welcome to walk the first trail on Candy Mountain from the base to near the summit.
The work on the parking lot off Dallas Road at Private Road 669 is expected to finish in early May. The trail’s dedication is June 2.
The 3.2-mile path is part of the Friends of Badger Mountain’s decade-long effort to add Candy Mountain to a chain of ridgetop parks.
The nonprofit envisions connecting Little Badger Mountain, Badger Mountain, Candy Mountain and Red Mountain with hiking trails.
The group, with the help of the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office, bought 195 acres on Candy Mountain in May 2016.
The roughly $1.25 million deal was the first step in the process to build the trail. In the fall, 148 volunteers spent more than 1,700 hours moving earth, laying down gravel and building a path.
“It’s a beautiful trail,” said Sharon Grant, a board member with the group. “It will introduce people to another kind of environment and views.”
Get an early look at the trail through a video by Bruce Bjornstad, a volunteer who flew a drone for a couple days in September to film the shaping of the trail.
The retired geologist captures images related to the Ice Age floods that swept out of Missoula and shaped the area’s landscape.