A little history on the trails

The Headwaters Trail System is a paved network of trails that runs along the former Milwaukee Railroad bed through the City of Three Forks to the Missouri Headwaters State Park.  There are almost 12 miles of paved trails in and around Three Forks, running to both the Headwaters State Park and the Jefferson River's Droulliard Fishing Access.   These trails cost nearly $1,000,000 and were implemented exclusively using donations and grant funding.  Future plans include extending the trail to Manhattan, and other parts of the Gallatin Valley.

The scenic trail provides views of the surrounding mountains and grasslands, winds around ponds and through old growth cottonwood trees, and end on the banks of the Jefferson River.

In 2007, the Headwaters Trail System was selected as the Montana Trail of the Year by the State Fish, Wildlife & Parks department.

The "Headwaters Bank Run" is an annual fundraiser, held the fourth weekend in July.   Four local banks, First Security, First Community, Manhattan State Bank and Stockman Bank.  This is a "fund run" offering a family-friendly 5K, 10K and now half-marathon.  Pre-registration is available at Run Sign Up.

“It was kind of a slow year.” 
— Gene Townsend, Headwaters Trail Department Head, and biggest supporter

2017 Annual Trails Report...

The Trails Department received a four-wheeler, small trailer, and large tank as donations this past year to help spray weeds, plow snow and keep the trails clear for its users.  Another donation received this year was a weed mower that can be hooked to the four-wheeler, and the Department purchased a small trailer to haul run equipment for the annual race. 

Fiscal Year 2017/2018 has budgeted to receipt in roughly $16,000 between donations and race entries.   We will apply for the Recreational Trails Grant and the Rails to Trails Grant, both due 2/1/18 and plan to request funding in the amount of $35-40,000.

Fiscal Year 2017/2018 is budgeted to spend $15,000 on maintenance, which was a grant awarded two years ago.  Proposed projects are replacement of a section of trail between Hwy 2 and the Headwaters Golf Course.  This section may not have been built up high enough and the golf course waters it constantly, which has deteriorated the asphalt.  We plan to replace it with cement.  Two benches will be replaced this year too: one by Droulliard and one on the east fork of the Madison River.  As funding allows, we hope to put in some riprap along the ponds as well, where muskrats and wave action have deteriorating the banks.

Bridge over the Madison River