Waterworks Hill Trailhead Improvements

Project Updates

The North Hills Waterworks Trailhead will remain closed through approximately August 20 for major trailhead improvements. The trailhead's reopening date has been pushed back due to unavoidable construction delays.

The North Hills Open Space Preserve and trails will remain open and accessible from other trailheads, including the Orange St/Ray Froehlich trailhead, the Mountain View trailhead, and Sunlight trailheads on Duncan Drive. Alternative trailheads map. Please protect your open space and avoid conflicts by observing the rules at right.

Access nearby City open space at the Cherry St., Lincoln Hills, Tamarack trailheads on Mt. Jumbo, the Maurice Ave. and Gasworks trailheads on Mt. Sentinel, and the Duncan Drive and Lincolnwood trailheads to the Rattlesnake Greenway and USFS Rattlesnake National Recreation Area. 

Please hike responsibly:

For the enjoyment and safety of yourself and others:

  • Parking is limited at the alternative trailheads. Please carpool or use non-motorized transportation when possible.
  • Please park ONLY in designated parking areas. Vehicles illegally parked along the road may be ticketed.
  • Leash your dog in the parking lot and at least 200 yards from the trailhead to avoid conflicts.
  • Pick up your pet's waste and dispose of it properly.
  • Do not use the Froelich trailhead lot (Orange and I-90) as a park-and-ride lot.

Project DescriptionWaterworks with project hightlights

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.

Project Benefits

The trailhead improvements will address the needs for upgrades while also expanding the recreational opportunities currently available. Highlights from the plan include:

  1. Expand the existing parking lot to 40-car capacity with two dedicated handicapped-accessible spaces.
  2. Construct a ½-mile packed-gravel universal trail providing access to a scenic overlook of downtown Missoula and the Missoula Valley.
  3. Reconstruct the access road with a dedicated sidewalk to provide safe pedestrian access.
  4. Improved trailhead facilities:  information kiosk, native species demonstration garden, seasonal restroom.

The expanded trailhead facilities will address capacity needs and provide 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 Preserve are closest to Missoula's densest population centers. The Waterworks Hill Trailhead Improvement and Accessible Trail Project expands recreation opportunities within Missoula’s rapidly-growing urban area.

Expected Timeframe

Construction will begin on April 15, 2022, and will last for approximately 3 months through mid-July.

Maps/Site Plan/Documents

Conceptual Site PlanSite MapEnvironmental Analysis

Project Costs and Funding

Total project cost: $798,143