Saturday, July 20, 2024

Harrell Forest Community Trails now open to the public

| October 12, 2023 9:55 AM

Flathead Land Trust, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) and Montana Land Reliance (MLR), is delighted to announce the opening of the Harrell Forest Community Trails just outside of Bigfork.

This remarkable 238-acre recreational oasis, nestled on the flanks of Swan Hill, is now

permanently protected and open for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.

The new trail system is located a half mile north of downtown Bigfork at 1017 Bigfork Stage Road.

Land that was once slated for the development of 17 new residential lots, the Harrell Forest Community Trails now represent a triumph for conservation and public access. The community now has access to several stacked loops of hiking and biking trails, providing round-trip treks of up to 7 miles, a new trailhead and awe-inspiring vistas overlooking the pristine waters of Flathead Lake and the majestic Swan Mountain Range.

At an impassioned Grand Opening Ceremony at the trails on September 22, in conjunction with TPL’s 50th Anniversary celebration, Cindy Harrell Horn shared the personal significance of the project as legacy to the Harrell name.

Alan Horn and Cindy Harrell Horn made the dream of the Harrell Forest Community Trails possible through their generous land donation to The Trust for Public Land in 2020.

The collaborative project between Flathead Land Trust, the Trust for Public Land and Montana Land Reliance highlights the collective dedication to preserving Montana’s natural beauty and vision for a sustainable future.

After several years of working together with partners, planning and constructing the trails and trailhead, Flathead Land Trust now owns and manages Harrell Forest.

The new trail system is open to the public for non-motorized and day use only.

Flathead Land Trust asks the public to enjoy the trails responsibly and follow all rules and trail etiquette including keeping dogs on leash, picking up pet waste, respecting adjacent private property and refraining from cutting of switchbacks or creating social trails.

Horseback riding is not permitted on the property.

For more information and to download a map of the Harrell Forest Community Trails, go to