Walk or Bike the Helena Trail System
Helena, Montana is a beautiful city located in a valley of the Rocky Mountains. It's known for its rich history, stunning scenery, and extensive trail system that offers a range of outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. With over 75 miles of trails, Helena is a paradise for hikers, bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts.
One of the most popular trails in Helena is the Mount Helena Ridge Trail. This trail is a 5.7-mile loop that offers stunning views of the city and surrounding mountains. The trailhead is located just a few blocks from downtown Helena, making it easily accessible for visitors staying in the area. The Mount Helena Ridge Trail is a moderate hike that takes about 2-3 hours to complete, depending on your pace.
Another popular hiking area in Helena is the South Hills Trail System. This network of trails covers over 80 miles and offers something for everyone from easy nature walks to challenging mountain bike rides. The trails wind through beautiful forests, meadows, and streams, providing a unique opportunity to experience Montana's natural beauty up close.
For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, the Helena River Trail is a must-visit destination. This paved trail runs alongside the Missouri River Canyon Trail and offers stunning views of the river and surrounding mountains and river. It's a great place to go for a bike ride, jog, or casual stroll. Along the way, you'll find plenty of places to stop and take in the scenery.
Culture, Art and History
In addition to its outdoor activities, Helena also has a rich cultural scene. The city is home to numerous museums, art galleries, and historic landmarks, including the Montana State Capitol building and the Original Governor's Mansion. Visitors can also explore the historic Last Chance Gulch, which was once a booming mining town during the late 1800s.
For those interested in Montana's rich history, the Montana Historical Society Museum is a must-see attraction. The museum features exhibits on the state's Native American heritage, early explorers, and pioneers, as well as artifacts and displays on Montana's mining and agricultural industries.
Helena also boasts a vibrant arts community, with numerous galleries and studios showcasing the work of local artists. Visitors can check out the Holter Museum of Art, located in downtown Helena, features contemporary art by Montana and national artists. There are also several festivals and events held throughout the year, such as the Last Chance Stampede and Rodeo or Annual Pow Wow.
A notable cultural attraction in Helena is the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts. The foundation is located in a former brickyard and offers a range of ceramic art classes and workshops for beginners and advanced artists alike. Visitors can also view works by resident artists and explore the beautiful grounds of the foundation.
Overall, Helena, Montana is a unique and vibrant city that offers a perfect blend of outdoor recreation and cultural activities. Whether you're an avid hiker, a history buff, or an art lover, there's something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful city nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.