City works on Mt. Helena trail restoration after flooding

Posted at 5:05 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 10:58:17-04

HELENA — City of Helena crews are working to fix the damage to Mt. Helena trails from the recent flash flooding.

The restoration will make trails more accessible and get rid of any possible safety hazards. The city is also partnering with Prickly Pear Land Trust in order to see to the trail system.

Right underneath the cliffs, in the Devil’s Kitchen area, the storm caused some of the most significant damage. The 1906 trail is right below those cliffs.

“Stormwater drained down off of the cliffs and pushed a lot of material across the trail. It kind of, at that point, started a domino effect where the trails below 1906 started receiving damage from water that was draining off of water bars on that particular trail,” says Brad Langsather, Open Lands Manager for the City of Helena.

Another trail damaged by the storm is Mt. Helena’s ADA-accessible trail. This trail allows hikers of all abilities to take advantage of the area.

“Before the storm, this trail was in absolute perfect condition. We had the compaction right where we wanted it and we were seeing use by all different types of trail users. And now, we just have some areas that were rutted and damaged, and we've got to put surface back on and start the compaction process again,” says Langsather.

During this restoration period, they also plan to put in some new benches and finish an overlook.

The bulk of extensive trail damage should be fixed within a few weeks.