Walking the Flats  LbNA # 13772

Placed DateMar 13 2005
LocationMissoula, MT
Found By Sasquatch
Last Found Jun 5 2014
Hike Distance?

Driving south on Highway 93 you will pass Wal-Mart on the left. Approximately 2 miles from Wal-Mart you will come to a traffic signal and the intersection of Blue Mountain Road (County Road No. 30). Turn right onto Blue Mountain Road at the Montana Athletic Club. Follow this paved road around until you come to the parking area and trailhead for Mcclay Flat. (approximately 1.5 mile) The turn off will be on the right. This is a wheelchair- accessible interpretive trail. The surface is pea gravel and well maintained. There are restroom facilities available at the trailhead. Sixteen interpretive signs describe the river system, wildlife, vegetation and archeology of this area. Many groups have worked to establish this trail and it is a great place to take children to see wildflowers and animals. We have seen beaver, hawks, and white-tail deer. There are bird boxes for wood ducks and bluebirds along the trail. The trail itself is a two mile loop, but there is a 1.25 mile shortcut. If you follow the trail in a clockwise direction it is a short walk to picnic tables near the Bitterroot River. This is a nice place for an evening stroll and picnic. If you are bringing the family dog, remember to bring a leash as dogs are required to be leashed.

Clues for the Walking the Flats Letterbox:
From the parking lot take the trail in a clockwise direction. You will pass an inerpretive sign on your right titled "Meandering River" just before you come to the Bitterroot River. Be sure to check out the carved rocks opposite this sign. They represent the kinds of animals that can be found along this trail. Continue taking the trail along the river until you arrive at another interpretive sign titled "The Bitterroot River System." This sign will be on the river side of the trail. Walk approximately 53 paces down the trail from this sign. To the right of the trail you will see a broken and bent over dead tree. Look behind the pine tree to the right of the dead tree to find the Walking the Flats Letterbox. It is buried behind the pine tree. (There is cottonwood tree in front of the pine tree.) Please carefully rebury this box as this is a heavily used trail and picnic area.

As you continue around on the trail, you will come to the shortcut. The shortcut is nice because it cuts through the pines that were planted in 1965 and are now 40 years old. However, we advise you to take the long way around as it is very pretty and easy walking.

*This box was adopted 12/17/2010*