Master Trails Plan
BSCO is working with nationally recognized Alta Planning + Design on a Master Trails Plan for Big Sky and connecting areas. Once finished, this will be a complete working document that will serve as the base for all future trail projects, outreach and continued care and maintenance. Currently in the fact finding phase, the final draft will be available soon for comment. Visit the project web site for more information on this important scope of work.
BSCO has applied for a grant to help with the design and construction of additional parking and trailhead amenities. With the purchase of the parcel on which the Upper Beehive Basin trailhead is located, BSCO is designing improvements to add additional parking and needed trailhead amenities such bear proof trash cans, a toilet facility and updated trailhead kiosks. These improvements will improve the existing trailhead facilities and safety by reducing the number of vehicles parking on the roadway and allowing better access for emergency services and homeowners.
Additionally, the Ousel Falls trailhead is in the process of a redesign to allow for the initiation of service by the Skyline Bus. The parking lot will include a second entrance/exit to allow for the busses to pull through the parking lot efficiently and safely. The service will allow for the ability to hike to Ousel Falls from Town Center via Uplands and Ralph’s Pass and catch a ride back to town.
Pedestrian Trail & Tunnel
BSCO is in the engineering phase of a project that will create safe pedestrian access across Highway 64 to the Big Sky Community Park. The project includes a pedestrian underpass at the intersection of Lone Mountain Trail (HWY 64) and Little Coyote Road, a paved trail along Little Coyote Road, and a pedestrian bridge across the Middle Fork of the South Fork of the Gallatin River. The project is part of the organization’s pedestrian safety and connectivity goal in the Big Sky Trails Master Plan. Recently Big Sky received funding through a federal TIGER grant in coordination with the Big Sky Meadow Trails, Recreation, and Parks Special District where $10 million was awarded for Hwy. 64 road improvements. The tunnel and pathway were included in the grant request. Construction is anticipated for the summer of 2019.
Mountain to Meadow Trail
BSCO is evaluating the potential to develop a public trail that would connect the existing Mountain to Meadow Trail (beginning at the Mountain Village of Big Sky Resort) to Big Sky Town Center. This trail connection is a an essential link in a much larger network that would provide linkages between existing trail systems, parks, neighborhoods, business centers, cultural, historical and recreation areas.
Mountain to Meadow Extension
BSCO is working with various landowners and partners on a proposed trail alignment to connect the terminus of the Mountain to Meadow trail at the Poop Chute to Town Center. The connection will assist in preventing user conflicts while providing a fun, safe dirt route all the way to town.
Winter Trail Grooming
BSCO has been working with Lone Mountain Ranch and other partners to begin grooming winter trails. BSCO is aiming to groom Little Willow Way, Crail Trails, and resume grooming of 7km of the Town Center Trails for the upcoming 2018/2019 winter though the acquisition of a snowmobile and grooming equipment. All the trails will be groomed on a set schedule for the enjoyment of all including cross country skiers, walkers, snowshoes, fat bikers and dogs.
Ralph’s Pass is a natural surface multi-use trail approximately 2.7 miles in length which serves as an important connector between the Hummocks and Uplands Trails and Ousel Falls Trail. A connecting spur, Ralph’s Pass Extension, will also route bikers to the Yellow Mule Trailhead. A significant portion of the trail easements fall within dedicated subdivision open space and through areas of natural beauty ranging from steep and heavily forested mountains to open grassy meadows. The trail enable users to enjoy views of several Big Sky peaks including Lone Mountain and Pioneer Mountain. Completed in the fall 2016, the trail is open June 15 – October 16th.
Pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular safety improved in the summer of 2017 in the Big Sky Meadow area with the installation of a traffic control signal at the intersection of Lone Mountain Trail (HWY 64) and Ousel Falls Road. Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) determined that the intersection met warrant criterial for the installation of a traffic control signal. The project was funded in collaboration with local developers (50%) and the Big Sky Area Resort Tax District (50%). BSCO’s role in the project was focused on connecting the recreational opportunities of parks and trails, to neighborhoods, businesses and essential services that are located on both the north and south side of HWY 64.
BSCO installed trail and vehicle counters to help us better understand and manage our parks and trails. The data will be used when planning future park and trail projects and while applying for grant and funding opportunities. To learn more about TRAFx vehicle and trail counters click here.
Hummock’s & Uplands Trails
BSCO completed construction of the Hummocks and Uplands Trails and Trailhead, in August 2014. The two natural surface trails added 5 miles of moderate terrain easily accessible from Big Sky Town Center and several residential neighborhoods. Funding for the project was granted from Big Sky Area Resort Tax District and the Recreational Trails Program.
Trail Signage & Wayfinding
A trail signage replacement and wayfinding project was completed during summer 2015 to improve awareness of the BSCO’s trail system and enhance legibility for the public. The updated signage creates an identity that is recognizable and memorable and helps trail users navigate the community trail network. Funding for the project, which includes 64 total signs, was granted from Big Sky Area Resort Tax District and the Robert and Dana Smith Charitable Fund.