By Sara Marino Outdoor Columnist
The Michener Creek Trails quickly gained traction and popularity since being built by Terraflow Trail Systems in 2019 through private funders. The trails came under the Big Sky Community Organization trail system in May of 2021 thanks to the help of the Blackfoot Hills Property Owners Association and at that point the trails reverted to their historical name of Mud Creek.
The Mud Creek Trail loop is 3 miles in length and climbs about 450 feet in the first 1.5 miles, providing an opportunity to get your blood pumping a bit before the fast and flowy descent with berms and terrain features to enhance the ride. The trail should be ridden counter-clockwise and features a beginner-friendly climb and the descent is in the intermediate range.
For those beginners that are nervous about the descent they can return the way they came up on the climbing trail. Hikers are welcome on the climbing trail but should steer clear of hiking on the descending trail for everyone’s safety. There is signage at the 1.5-mile mark to indicate where the trail changes from two-way traffic to recommended downhill use only.
The Mud Creek Trails are easy to access. From Big Sky travel about a mile south on U.S. Highway 191 and turn at the Michener Creek Road located between The Whitewater Inn and Canyon Adventures. Or, leave your car at home and bike the paved Lone Mountain Trail that runs from Town Center to the Big Sky Conoco. At that point the trail becomes the Gallatin Canyon Trail which keeps you safely off the road the entire time ending at Ophir Elementary School. BSCO added an informational kiosk and trail signage and plans to add a bear-proof trash receptacle for users’ convenience.
If you haven’t checked out these trails yet, do yourself a favor and get out there. Trail maintenance from the BSCO team is helping these trails ride great. Be bear aware and have fun!
Sara Marino is the new community development manager for the Big Sky Community Organization. She comes to BiSara Marino is the Development Manager for the Big Sky Community Organization. BSCO creates recreational and enrichment opportunities for people through leadership of partnerships, programs and places.