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River's Edge Trail

Great Falls Montana

Listing Type: State Park Trail
City: Great Falls Montana
Region: Central Montana

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Whether biking, skating, jogging or walking is your favorite outdoor activity; the River's Edge Trail is the perfect setting.

Extending 25 miles along the beautiful Missouri River, this trail offers spectacular views of Black Eagle Falls, Rainbow Falls, Crooked Falls and the Great Falls of the Missouri. The paved wheelchair accessible urban portions of the trail link many riverfront parks, boat launches, a waterslide park, a skateboard park and native open spaces on both sides of the river. The paved trail leaves the urban environment and enters the river canyon on a former Great Northern Railroad berm nestled into the canyon wall. It passes a boxcar and caboose trailhead display and Black Eagle Falls and enters Giant Springs State Park. New tunnels and trail segments link to the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and State Park Visitor Center. The trail continues through the Park to interpretive overlook areas at Rainbow and Crooked Falls. The south shore trail continues as a single track and double track to Cochrane Dam.

An 11-mile stretch of the trail on the north shore along the reservoirs links to several single track loops and a native plant interpretive walk loop. The first 5.5 miles is gravel with relatively gentle grades. The next 5.5 miles is a single track through native lands with some steep and technical sections. The north and south shore trails are seasonally connected by bicycle and pedestrian access across Cochrane Dam.

The River's Edge Trail provides great views of the rugged canyon, the reservoirs, the native plains and distant mountains as well as year-round opportunities to view abundant bird and wildlife. The trail is open year round during daylight hours. Much of the urban trail is plowed of snow during the winter. Bike and boat rentals are available.

Directions: The south shore trail is served by 3 paved trailhead parking areas along River Drive and 3 more along Giant Springs Road. The north shore trail has trailhead parking areas at Rainbow Dam, Ryan Dam and Morony Dam. 2 more trailheads serve the urban West Bank Park section of the trail. Free maps are available at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Park & Recreation Department, Giant Springs State Park Headquarters/Visitor Center and at www.thetrail.org.

River's Edge Trail
Recreational Trails, Inc., Great Falls, MT 59403

  • Hiking
  • Walking
  • Sightseeing
  • Nature Area
  • Environmental
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Picnicking
  • Bird Watching
  • Bicycling
  • Fishing
  • Trail
  • Handicapped Accessible
  • Water
  • Interpretive Display

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