Waterworks Hill Trailhead Improvements

Waterworks Trailhead Site PlanProject Description

Parks and Recreation is partnering with Missoula Water to expand and improve the Waterworks Hill Trailhead, the most popular and heavily-used access point to Missoula’s trail system. The project will upgrade and expand the parking lot and kiosk at the trailhead, add an accessible interpretive loop trail and add important trailhead amenities. The project is currently in the planning stages, and construction will begin as funding become available.

Project Benefits

The trailhead improvements will address the needs for upgrades while also expanding the recreational opportunities currently available. The proposed interpretive loop trail will provide an ADA accessible, relatively flat trail. This new trail will expand access to a wider range of trail users than the existing, steeper Waterworks Hill trails currently accommodate, and will offer a unique opportunity to overlook the Missoula valley. 

The expanded trailhead facilities will address capacity needs and provide for a safer parking area with support amenities to promote cleanliness, social equity, environmental stewardship and restoration of the City’s conservation land values.

Of all of the city’s open space lands, the Waterworks Hill Trailhead and the North Hills are closest to the most dense population centers and low and moderate income residents in Missoula. The Waterworks Hill Trailhead Improvement and Accessible Trail Project provides a significant opportunity to expand recreation just on the edge of Missoula’s rapidly-growing urban area.

Opportunities For Public Comment Through March 9, 2019

The City of Missoula has submitted a proposal for a Montana State Parks Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant to help fund the project. RTP is a federally funded program administered by Montana State Parks which provides funding for trail and trail related projects across the state. 

Public comment on the proposed RTP grant awards is open through Saturday, March 9 at 5pm. Your support will demonstrate the substantial public demand for this project and its benefits to trail users. You may submit your comments online here.

Visit Montana State Parks to learn more about the Recreational Trails Program.

Expected Timeframe

If the project is fully funded in 2019, construction could begin in 2020, with the new facilities opening in 2021.

Maps/Site Plan/Documents

Conceptual Site Plan
Site Map
Environmental Analysis

Project Costs and Funding

Preliminary cost estimates for design, engineering and construction are $400,000 to $650,000. Current funding sources include the City of Missoula, $400,000; Missoula County, $150,000; potential grant funding, $100,000. Parks and Recreation is actively pursing additional funding for the project.