The Crown Jewel Of Rail Trails Is Located In Montana, And You'll Want To Ride
Hiking is a fantastic Montana pastime, but there’s something about barreling through the crisp mountain air on the back of a bike that feels especially amazing. The Treasure State is home to some wonderful bike-friendly trails, but there’s nothing quite like the impressive Route of the Hiawatha. This trail is called the Crown Jewel of Rail Trails, and for good reason.
The Route of the Hiawatha is 15 miles long, starting in Idaho before spanning some of Montana's most beautiful scenery.
The trail will accommodate both bikers and walkers, and on a typical day, you'll see plenty of both.
The first 13 miles of the trail opened in May of 1998, with a few parts, like the Taft Tunnel, opening in 2001.
The trail was definitely a work in progress for quite some time, but all those efforts have paid off.
The trail is open from mid-late May until mid-September.
You'll find the opening dates on the official website -- this year, the trail opens on May 28.
There are a whopping 10 train tunnels and seven sky-high trestles on the trail.
If you have an extreme fear of heights or fear of the dark, this is definitely something to be aware of.
Not only is this beautiful bike ride all downhill, but you can reserve a shuttle to take you back to the starting point when you've finished.
The shuttles are available seven days a week during the open season, but you'll have to schedule your ride in advance.
The Route of the Hiawatha was named a "Hall of Fame" trail by the Rail-to-Trail Conservancy.
It's one of only 15 trails with that title in the country.
Spectacular doesn't even begin to describe the scenery you'll see on this journey.
It has been called one of the most scenic stretches of railroad in the country, and it's easy to see why.
The Route of the Hiawatha will be open for the season soon.
If you've been on the fence about taking this ride, make this the year you go for it.
Have you ever heard of the Route of the Hiawatha? Better yet, have you biked it? Let us know in the comments!
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