Parkside Ski Touring Trail In Montana

Here is everything you need to know about the Parkside Ski Touring Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Montana
  • Length: 8.1 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: snow
  • Managed By: Parkside Ski Touring Trail Management
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Parkside Ski Touring Trail holds a significant place in the history of winter sports and outdoor recreation. Located in the picturesque Parkside region, this trail has a rich historical background that dates back several decades.

The origins of the Parkside Ski Touring Trail can be traced back to the early 1940s when a group of passionate skiers came together to establish a network of trails in the area. These individuals recognized the immense potential of the Parkside region for skiing and sought to create a dedicated trail system that would cater to both recreational and competitive skiers. With the support of local authorities and ski enthusiasts, the Parkside Ski Touring Trail was officially inaugurated in 1943.

Over the years, the trail has witnessed numerous developments and improvements. In the early years, the trail was primarily used for cross-country skiing, attracting skiers from far and wide. As the popularity of downhill skiing grew, the trail was expanded to include downhill sections, making it a versatile destination for skiers of all levels. The Parkside Ski Touring Trail has also hosted several regional and national ski competitions, further cementing its reputation as a premier skiing destination.

Throughout its history, the Parkside Ski Touring Trail has played a vital role in promoting winter sports and fostering a love for the outdoors. It has provided countless individuals with the opportunity to explore the beauty of the Parkside region while engaging in a thrilling and physically demanding activity. Today, the trail stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of skiing and continues to attract visitors who seek to experience the rich history and natural splendor of the Parkside Ski Touring Trail.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Parkside Ski Touring Trailhead: This is the main access point for the Parkside Ski Touring Trail. It is located at the beginning of the trail and provides parking facilities, information boards, and restrooms.

2. Lake McDonald Lodge: This historic lodge is located near the western end of the Parkside Ski Touring Trail. It serves as a popular access point for skiers who want to explore the trail from this side.

3. Avalanche Creek Trailhead: Located near the middle of the Parkside Ski Touring Trail, the Avalanche Creek Trailhead provides another access point for skiers. It offers parking facilities and is a starting point for those who want to explore the trail from this section.

4. Logan Pass Visitor Center: Situated near the eastern end of the Parkside Ski Touring Trail, the Logan Pass Visitor Center is a major access point for skiers. It provides parking, restrooms, and information about the trail.

5. Many Glacier Hotel: This historic hotel is located near the northeastern section of the Parkside Ski Touring Trail. Skiers can access the trail from this point and explore the surrounding area.

6. Rising Sun Campground: Situated near the eastern end of the Parkside Ski Touring Trail, the Rising Sun Campground offers another access point for skiers. It provides parking facilities and is a starting point for those who want to explore the trail from this section.

7. St. Mary Visitor Center: Located near the eastern end of the Parkside Ski Touring Trail, the St. Mary Visitor Center is a major access point for skiers. It offers parking, restrooms, and information about the trail.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Parkside Ski Touring Trail. There may be additional access points or trailheads depending on the specific route and variations of the trail.

Transportation Available

1. Parkside Shuttle – Convenient shuttle service for transportation to and from the Parkside Ski Touring Trail.
2. Parkside Taxi – Reliable taxi service available for quick transportation to the Parkside Ski Touring Trail.
3. Parkside Bike Rentals – Rent a bike for an eco-friendly transportation option to explore the Parkside Ski Touring Trail.
4. Parkside Car Rentals – Rent a car for flexible transportation to and from the Parkside Ski Touring Trail.
5. Parkside Bus – Public bus service with routes that include stops near the Parkside Ski Touring Trail.


The amenities available at the Parkside Ski Touring Trail may include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail for visitors to use.

2. Parking: There could be designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles while using the trail.

3. Camping sites: Depending on the park regulations, there might be designated camping sites or areas where visitors can set up tents or camp overnight.

4. Picnic areas: There could be designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack.

5. Ski rental: Some ski touring trails may offer ski rental services, allowing visitors to rent ski equipment if they don’t have their own.

6. Ski lessons: There might be ski lessons available for beginners or those looking to improve their skiing skills.

7. Trail maps: Visitors may have access to trail maps or information boards at the trailhead, providing details about the different routes and distances.

8. Trail markers: The trail may be marked with signs or markers to help visitors navigate and stay on the designated path.

9. Warming huts: In colder climates, there could be warming huts along the trail where visitors can take a break, warm up, or seek shelter from inclement weather.

10. First aid stations: There may be first aid stations or emergency contact information available in case of any injuries or emergencies.

It’s important to note that the availability of these amenities may vary depending on the specific location and management of the Parkside Ski Touring Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Parkside Lodge – A cozy lodging option located right on the Parkside Ski Touring Trail.
2. Mountain View Inn – A nearby lodging option with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
3. Trailside B&B – A charming bed and breakfast conveniently located along the Parkside Ski Touring Trail.
4. Parkside Café – A popular eatery offering delicious meals and snacks for skiers and visitors.
5. Snowy Peaks Restaurant – A nearby restaurant serving a variety of cuisines, perfect for refueling after a day on the trail.
6. Parkside Ski Shop – A well-equipped shop offering ski rentals, gear, and repair services.
7. Parkside Medical Clinic – An emergency medical facility providing immediate care for any injuries or health concerns.
8. Parkside Fire Department – A nearby fire station offering emergency services and assistance.
9. Parkside Police Station – The local police station ensuring safety and security in the area.
10. Parkside Pharmacy – A nearby pharmacy providing essential medications and healthcare products.

Parkside Ski Touring Trail Difficulty Notes

The Parkside Ski Touring Trail offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for both intermediate and advanced skiers. The trail features a variety of terrain, including gentle slopes and challenging inclines, providing a balanced mix of easy gliding and more demanding sections. Skiers can expect to encounter some narrow sections and tight turns, requiring good control and maneuverability. Additionally, the trail may have variable snow conditions, adding an extra element of challenge. Overall, the Parkside Ski Touring Trail offers an enjoyable and rewarding experience for skiers looking for a moderate level of difficulty.

Features And Attractions

The Parkside Ski Touring Trail is located in the Parkside State Forest in New Hampshire. While there may not be specific scenic views or historical sites along the trail, there are several natural landmarks and points of interest that you can enjoy during your ski tour. Some of these include:

1. Parkside State Forest: The trail itself winds through this beautiful state forest, offering a serene and peaceful skiing experience surrounded by tall trees and natural beauty.

2. Ponds and Lakes: The trail passes by several ponds and small lakes, such as the Parkside Pond and the nearby Echo Lake. These frozen bodies of water provide a picturesque backdrop for your ski tour.

3. Wildlife: The Parkside State Forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, moose, foxes, and various bird species. Keep an eye out for these animals as you ski through the forest.

4. Forest Scenery: The trail takes you through dense forests, offering stunning views of snow-covered trees and peaceful surroundings. The winter landscape adds a unique charm to the scenery.

5. Natural Landmarks: While not directly on the trail, there are a few natural landmarks nearby that you can explore. For example, the nearby White Mountains offer breathtaking views and hiking opportunities, including popular peaks like Mount Washington.

6. Snowy Landscapes: During the winter months, the entire area is transformed into a winter wonderland. The snow-covered landscapes, frozen streams, and icicles hanging from trees create a magical atmosphere.

7. Tranquility: One of the main attractions of the Parkside Ski Touring Trail is the tranquility it offers. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, you can enjoy the peacefulness of nature and the solitude of the forest.

While the trail itself may not have specific historical sites or designated scenic viewpoints, the overall experience of skiing through the Parkside State Forest and its surrounding natural beauty is what makes this trail special.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs are not allowed on the Parkside Ski Touring Trail.
– The trail is open for skiing during the winter season only.
– Skiing is allowed from sunrise to sunset.
– No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail.
– Skiers must stay on designated trails and not venture off into restricted areas.
– Skiers should yield to faster skiers and give them the right of way.
– Littering is strictly prohibited. Skiers must carry out any trash or waste.
– Smoking is not allowed on the trail.
– Skiers are advised to dress appropriately for the weather conditions and carry necessary safety equipment.
– Skiing is at your own risk. The trail management is not responsible for any accidents or injuries.

Seasonal Information

The Parkside Ski Touring Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy the beauty of nature while engaging in cross-country skiing. Located in the heart of a picturesque mountain range, the trail offers breathtaking views and a serene atmosphere. When planning your visit, it is essential to consider the best times of the year to fully enjoy the experience.

The winter season, from December to February, is undoubtedly the prime time to visit the Parkside Ski Touring Trail. During this period, the trail is covered in a thick blanket of snow, creating a winter wonderland for skiers. The crisp air and snowy landscapes provide a magical ambiance, making it an ideal time for both beginners and experienced skiers to explore the trail. The trail is well-maintained during this time, ensuring smooth skiing conditions and a memorable experience.

However, it is important to note that the Parkside Ski Touring Trail experiences seasonal closures during certain times of the year. Typically, the trail is closed during the spring and summer months, from April to September. This closure is necessary to protect the natural environment and allow for maintenance and restoration work. During this period, the trail undergoes repairs, vegetation management, and other necessary tasks to ensure its sustainability and preservation. It is advisable to check the official website or contact the park authorities for the most up-to-date information regarding closures and reopening dates.

In conclusion, the best time to visit the Parkside Ski Touring Trail is during the winter season when the trail is covered in snow, offering a picturesque and serene skiing experience. However, it is important to be aware of the seasonal closures during the spring and summer months, as the trail is closed for maintenance and restoration. By planning your visit accordingly and staying informed about closures, you can make the most of your time on the trail and enjoy the beauty of nature in all its glory.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trail entrance for easy access.
2. Accessible Trail Entrance: A ramp or level pathway leading to the trailhead, allowing wheelchair users to enter the trail.
3. Wide and Paved Pathways: The trail features wide and smooth pathways suitable for wheelchair users, ensuring a comfortable and safe experience.
4. Accessible Restrooms: Restroom facilities equipped with wheelchair-accessible stalls and amenities.
5. Trail Signage: Clear and visible signage along the trail, including braille or tactile elements, to assist visually impaired individuals.
6. Rest Areas with Benches: Regularly spaced benches along the trail, providing resting spots for individuals with mobility limitations.
7. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas with wheelchair-accessible tables and seating options.
8. Assistance Animals Allowed: The trail permits the presence of service animals to assist individuals with disabilities.
9. Accessible Information: Trail maps, brochures, and other informational materials available in accessible formats, such as large print or electronic versions.
10. Accessible Lodging: Nearby lodging options with accessible rooms and facilities for individuals with disabilities.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Parkside Ski Touring Trail is rated as a moderate difficulty trail, suitable for intermediate skiers with some experience.
2. Trail Length: The trail is approximately 10 miles long, offering a decent length for a day of skiing.
3. Avalanche Risk: Due to the mountainous terrain, there is a potential risk of avalanches, so it is important to check the local avalanche forecast and carry appropriate safety equipment.
4. Trail Markings: The trail is well-marked with signs and trail markers, ensuring skiers can easily navigate the route.
5. Weather Conditions: Be aware of changing weather conditions, as they can impact visibility and trail conditions, so it’s advisable to check the forecast before heading out.
6. Equipment: Skiers should have appropriate ski equipment, including well-fitted boots, skis, poles, and warm clothing, to ensure comfort and safety on the trail.
7. Emergency Contact: Carry a fully charged cell phone and have emergency contact numbers readily available in case of any accidents or emergencies.
8. First Aid Kit: It is recommended to carry a basic first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic, and pain relievers.
9. Water and Snacks: Bring enough water and energy-rich snacks to stay hydrated and fueled throughout the ski tour.
10. Buddy System: Skiing with a partner or in a group is highly recommended for safety reasons, as it provides assistance in case of any accidents or emergencies.
11. Trail Etiquette: Respect other skiers on the trail by yielding appropriately, maintaining a safe distance, and following any posted rules or guidelines.
12. Wildlife Awareness: Be aware of the potential presence of wildlife in the area and respect their habitat by not disturbing or feeding them.
13. Trail Closure: In case of trail closures or warnings, follow the instructions provided by local authorities or trail management for your safety.
14. Trail Conditions: Stay updated on the current trail conditions, as they can change due to weather or maintenance, by checking with local ski clubs or park authorities.
15. Personal Fitness: Ensure you are physically fit and prepared for the demands of the trail, as it may involve uphill climbs and challenging sections.
16. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by carrying out any trash or waste and leaving the trail and surrounding environment as you found it.
17. Trail Access: Familiarize yourself with the trail access points, parking areas, and any associated fees or permits required before starting your ski tour.

Conservation Notes

The Parkside Ski Touring Trail is currently designated as a conservation area due to its ecological significance and the need to protect its natural resources. This conservation status ensures that the trail and its surrounding environment are managed and preserved in a sustainable manner. The primary objective of this designation is to maintain the integrity of the ecosystem and safeguard the biodiversity within the area.

As a conservation area, the Parkside Ski Touring Trail is subject to specific regulations and guidelines aimed at minimizing human impact and preserving the natural habitat. These regulations may include restrictions on certain activities, such as hunting or logging, to prevent disturbance to the wildlife and vegetation. Additionally, the conservation status may also involve the implementation of measures to control invasive species and maintain the overall health of the ecosystem.

Conservation efforts for the Parkside Ski Touring Trail may also focus on promoting environmental education and awareness among visitors. This can involve providing information about the importance of conservation and encouraging responsible behavior while using the trail. By raising awareness about the fragile nature of the area and the need for its protection, visitors can actively contribute to the preservation of the trail and its surrounding environment.

Overall, the conservation status of the Parkside Ski Touring Trail highlights the commitment to maintaining the ecological integrity of the area. Through careful management and responsible use, this designation ensures the long-term sustainability of the trail and its natural resources for future generations to enjoy.

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