On the Trail: Acton Recreation Area a thrilling mountain biking experience

Klepps Family on the Trails
Posted at 10:17 AM, Jul 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-17 12:17:23-04

About 40 minutes from downtown Billings sits the Acton Recreation Area, which is filled with trails for hikers and bikers alike and features thrills at every turn.

While many Montanans might not know about the terrain, 19-year-old Ethan Oliszczak says it's an adrenaline rush that adds to his love of mountain biking.

"Mountain biking definitely gets the heart rate up and gets you going," Oliszczak said at Acton before hitting the trails. "I love just getting that rush, whether that be mountain biking or snowboarding or anything that can kind of get your heart moving."

Oliszczak said that isn't the only reason he enjoys the sport. He said there's no better way to take in Montana's beautiful scenery than from the seat of his bike.

Acton Trail view

"I think what drives me to mountain biking, I would say is just being out here," Oliszczak said. "Being in the outdoors, getting outside, and doing something. I just love exploring what Montana has to offer."

That drive to explore is part of what got Oliszczak interested in the sport in the first place. He first rode with a friend when he was 14 and he's been hooked ever since.

"It just takes one person to say, 'Hey, you can borrow my bike and we'll go out biking,'" Oliszczak said. "It could become a hobby or a passion that never stops."


Oliszczak's passion for mountain biking is apparent in his everyday life. He said he tries to go at least three times a week when the weather is nice. When he isn't on the trail, he works at The Ski Station in Billings, trying to spread his passion to others.

“The cool thing about what I do is I get to see more people getting into the sport or getting a new hobby and getting a new passion," Oliszczak said.

And Oliszczak said there's no better place to try the sport than at the Acton Recreation Area, where there are trails varying in difficulty levels.

Acton Trailhead

"They offer something for everyone," Oliszczak said. "I'll bring my younger brothers out here or a first-timer that's never mountain biked. It's really just a good bridge to gap getting into the sport."

It's a unique experience and just another hidden gem located less than an hour away from Billings. Oliszczak said the drive is always worth it.

"This is just right in your back door and I bet half of the people in Billings don't even know it exists," Oliszczak said. "I don't come out here every time just because of the commute, but when I do the trails always make it worth it for sure."