Accessible trail to be added in Waterworks trail renovations

MISSOULA, Mont. - One of the most popular trails in Missoula is about to become more accessible for all who want to see a great view of the valley. 

Out of all the trails in Missoula, Waterworks is one of the most popular because it's closest to downtown and dries off the earliest in the spring. 

When things dry off in spring 2022, the trailhead will be renovated and moved up the hill.

Crews will also add a new accessible trail. The trail will be unique because it's a flatter half mile loop that still ends up at a viewpoint. 

"Usually when you have an accessible trail, it's just a flattish trail in the meadow," Neil Miner, parks and trails design manager with Missoula Parks and Recreation, explained. "[There's] not anything against that because those are beautiful too, but this one actually gets to a really great overlook of the city where you get to see all the mountains, have a really cool experience and kind of get to see the history of the city." 

On top of the added trail, crews will rebuild Minkler Loop, the area used for parking now, and create a 40 car parking lot on the Missoula Water property up higher. 

The $798,000 project is funded by a 2018 GO open space bond, recreation trails program grant, gas tax, Missoula Water and park impact fees. 

Construction is set to begin in April and will wrap up around 4th of July, depending on weather. During that time, the area will be closed but parks and rec is working on alternative trails and parking. 

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