View details on park projects that are currently under way.
View details on completed trail projects & ones that are currently under way.
We’re working on a centrally-located community center, a place for all of Big Sky.
As a leading not-for-profit within a growing community the Big Sky Community Organization is constantly looking at opportunities to increase parklands and open spaces while further developing public recreation amenities.
RT & Ralph's Beehive Preserve
BSCO’s goal with this new land acquisition is to ensure continued access to Beehive Basin, provide long-term stewardship of the land and that the trailhead and surrounding area is developed to meet the level of use the trailhead sees on a daily basis with consistent maintenance and upkeep. The BSCO plans to turn the 7.5 acres into an open space parkland and partner with the USFS on the trailhead to make significant improvements for additional parking, improved informational kiosk, a pit toilet and a bear-proof trash receptacle.
Big Sky Community Park Projects
Coming in Summer of 2019, will be the addition of a mountain bike pump track adjacent to the skate park, providing a family friendly spot for all ability levels to learn and improve their bike skills.
Thanks to the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation we installed a fresh water line at the East end of the park for our Camp Big Sky youth to have access to a clean water spigot next to the year-round yurt. Additionally, we striped two more pickle ball courts and upgraded our park entrance sign. During the summer of 2017 another yurt was added for our Camp Big Sky program thanks to the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation and Moonlight Community Foundation.
Kircher Discovery Park Improvements
In 2018, BSCO began the replacement of bridges and boardwalks leading into the park to better accommodate families and strollers. Look for the final replacement of the wetland boardwalk in summer of 2019. Thanks to continued support of the Rotary Club of Big Sky.
The new Tree Fort will create an exciting gathering place for children of all ages to play and enjoy this wonderful stretch of river the park sits on was completed in the fall of 2017. Big Sky’s newest playground is a ship inspired structure that is sure to invigorate the imagination of anyone that visits. The BSCO and Rotary Club of Big Sky worked together last summer to make several improvements to Kircher Park with the goal of providing a more inviting atmosphere for park and trail visitors. Improvements included: building a loop trail, tree clearing, trail repairs, and a new park entrance sign was installed October of 2017.
Master Park Plan
The increased recreational use and rapid growth of our community prompted the BSCO, in partnership with the Big Sky Area Parks, Trails & Recreation District, to hire Peaks to Plains Consulting out of Billings, MT to lead a master park planning process for our community. With progressive and sustainable planning in place we can ensure abundant and diverse recreational amenities are available for all. The process is currently underway and being led by a 15 member Volunteer Advisory Committee. You can find current and up to date information on the project below.
Ousel Falls Safety and Revegetation Project
Funded through the Big Sky Area Resort Tax District and individual donors, this project improved safety throughout the park and trail with the installation of new hand rails and safety barriers as well as the restoration of several bare/compacted areas that were been damaged by user traffic. The restoration component of the project included seeding, planting native trees and shrubs, and decommissioning several user created paths. Overall, the project brought the Ousel Falls Trail back to it’s native state while providing a safer experience for all visitors.
Trail Projects – current & completed
Current Trail Projects
Master Trails Plan
BSCO is working with nationally recognized Alta Planning + Design on a Master Trails Plan for Big Sky and connecting areas. This is a complete working document that will serve as the base for all future trail projects and outreach while providing guidance for the continued care and maintenance of existing trails. Visit the project web site for more information on this important scope of work to view the final document. Currently, BSCO is working with Madison and Gallatin counties to have the plan adopted into growth policies in each county.
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. The project is funded in part by a Recreational Trails Program grant. 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. The project will result in the dedication of the entire parcel as RT & Ralph’s Beehive Preserve.
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.
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 route all the way 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 2020.
Winter Trail Grooming
BSCO worked with Lone Mountain Ranch and other partners to begin grooming winter trails in the winter of 2019. BSCO is now grooming Little Willow Way, Crail Trails, South Fork Loop and 7km of the Town Center Trails during the winter though the acquisition of a snowmobile and grooming equipment. All the trails are free and are groomed for the enjoyment of all including cross country skiers, walkers, snowshoes, fat bikers and dogs.
Mountain to Meadow Trail
BSCO is evaluating the potential to develop an easy multi-use public trail that would connect 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.
Completed Trail Projects
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.
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.
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. The wayfinding developed in this project is being used on all BSCO trails & trail projects.
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.
View the traffic signal site plan 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.