By Ciara Wolfe BSCO Executive Director

This time of year can be difficult to get out on the trail. The snowpack is still low enough that our incredible cross-country ski network is not groomed and ready for skiing, snowshoeing can be difficult, and longer trails can be slick for hikers on foot. Don’t despair, though—Big Sky still has something to get folks outside and on the trail.

Scattered throughout Big Sky are several small neighborhood parks and trails. One of these hidden gems is the South Fork Sledding Hill Trail. Nestled in a developing residential neighborhood, this 1/2-mile out and back gravel path provides nice scenery and a vista of Meadow Village.

The South Fork Sledding Hill Trail is located off Spruce Cone Drive in the South Fork residential neighborhood. The trail and park was designed and put in by the developer of this neighborhood, Cronin Family L.P., with a vision of connecting this trail to others as the neighborhood continues to grow.

Although short, this hike provides a pleasant walk for all abilities and gives you an enjoyable outdoor experience during the offseason. There is a small off-street parking area on the west side of Spruce Cone Drive directly south of Whitefish Drive. At the parking area you’ll see a small trailhead with signs that indicate the trail and the hill for sledding.

The trail meanders up the hillside above the sledding hill and then crosses through an aspen grove before ending at a dirt road. From that point you can turn around and return the 1/4 mile back to your vehicle, but make sure to bring a sled in case you or your children want to take a ride down the sledding hill. Also, stay tuned for future connecting trails.

For more information about Big Sky’s parks, trails and recreation programs, visit bscomt.org. The Big Sky Community Organization is a local nonprofit that connects people to recreational opportunities by acquiring, promoting and preserving sustainable places and programs for all.

1612_ott_printTrail stats

Distance: .5 mile out and back roundtrip
Difficulty: easy
Elevation gain: less than 100 feet
Surface: gravel
Uses: hike/walk your dog, sled
Directions: Turn off Lone Mountain Trail into the West Fork neighborhood on Big Pine Drive. Turn left when you reach the stop sign at Spruce Cone Drive and continue for about ½ of a mile. Look for a place to park after you pass Whitefish Drive. The parking area will be found immediately on the right-hand side of Spruce Cone Drive.