The City of Helena has started working on a significant improvement project to the DeFord trail that will benefit all users. The project kicked off this month with help from a group of community volunteers. The initial development is focused on adding a new trail route designed for bike users, as well as improving an existing bike skills course.
The new trail will be approximately 0.57 miles long and is intended to provide better space for hikers on the trail, and bikers that are descending the lower section of DeFord. Additionally, the project will further develop 1,500 feet of bike skills features. The skills area will be paired with a duplicate trail to allow for return trips to the start of the course.
As part of the improvement project, the City will install trail safety and orientation signage and approximately 1,000 feet of post and rail fence to prevent vehicle usage of the trail. The fence will also create a barrier between the bike skills course and the main DeFord trail.
The current development is part of the larger Deford trail improvement project, which has been reviewed and approved through the City’s Open Lands Major Recreation Projects Process over the last two years. Additional features of the project include the accessible restroom at Old Shooting Range Trailhead, which is slated to be installed this fall. The City currently has a working group that is finalizing a recommendation for potential additional accessible trail construction south of the Old Shooting Range Trailhead.