Milwaukee Railroad Signal Letterbox  LbNA # 3252

Placed DateApr 15 2003
LocationMissoula, MT
Found By slartibartfast
Last Found Aug 1 2016
Hike Distance?

Milwaukee Railroad Signal Letterbox

Location: Missoula, Montana
Planted: 4/15/03
Planted by: Rockmover and Quiltmaker
Difficulty: Easy

Missoula, Montana is a western community of 60,000. It is nestled in the confluence of the Blackfoot River, the Clark Fork River, and the Bitterroot River. The city is on Interstate 90. Plan to stop awhile and enjoy this hospitable town. We have an active community theater and of course the University of Montana. Be sure to take in the hand-carved carousel in Caras Park while you are here.

Directions for getting to the trailhead: Traveling on Interstate 90, take the Van Buren Exit to Broadway Street. Park in the Eastgate Shopping Mall parking lot and walk across the Clark Fork River on the old pedestrian bridge to the University of Montana. (One can park in the northernmost University of Montana parking lot M after hours and on weekends. This will require driving around to the University.) You will see the walking/jogging/bike path that runs along the Clark Fork River. This trail is now part of the Kim Williams Recreation Area. Kim, a naturalist, was a regular contributor on National Public Radio. The trail is bounded on the north by the Clark Fork River and on the south by Mount Sentinel. You may notice that it is rather wide and level for a biking path. At one time it was the roadbed for the Milwaukee Railroad. This section was the last track to be laid and was completed in 1908. The railroad went out of business in 1980 and later the tracks were removed leaving this excellent path.

Head east along this trail toward Hellgate Canyon. After about 100 yards you will be just north of the Montana Grizzlies football stadium. Notice two freshly painted silver railroad signal towers on either side of the trail. About a mile and a quarter down the trail you will come upon another signal tower. It is missing the upper panel of lights. Opposite the tower on the north side of the path is a small cluster of four young fir trees. Walk around to the backside of the clump of trees and look under the largest tree. A flat stone covers the Milwaukee Railroad Signal Letterbox, our first planted letterbox!