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New Multi-Use Winter Trail Added to Highland Glen
February 28, 2021
The multi-use route follows the red and yellow trail markers. At times, the new trail runs alongside the ski trails, and it crosses the groomed trail in a few spots as well. (photo: Rory Martin)

Community members have a new way to enjoy Highland Glen in the winter, thanks to the creation of a multi-use trail recently marked by Bridger Ski Foundation (BSF). BSF provides groomed ski trails at Highland Glen through an agreement with Bozeman Health, which owns the land. While the groomed ski trails at Highland Glen will remain open to ski-traffic only, this new multi-use trail provides better access to Highland Glen for those wishing to explore on foot, bike, snowshoes, or even classic cross country skis.

BSF worked with Bozeman Health and Gallatin Valley Land Trust to establish the new winter route, which provides an ungroomed path through the glen and along the scenic east ridge. “Creating trails and providing public access for recreation and exercise align with Bozeman Health’s mission to improve community health and quality of life,” said Jason Smith, Bozeman Health Chief Advancement Officer. “As we all know, a walk outside is nature’s best medicine. We are honored to partner with BSF and GVLT to expand opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy their #OutdoorHealthyLife in the health system’s Highland Glen Nature Preserve.”

BSF Executive Director Evan Weiss helped pack in the initial trail on snowshoes and noted, “I think this is a great addition to Highland Glen in the winter, and we are excited to see the ski trails and this multi-use trail co-exist side by side. We’re grateful to Bozeman Health for making Highland Glen accessible—it’s an important part of keeping our community healthy and happy.”

BSF Executive Director Evan Weiss installs red trail markers along the new multi-use trail. (photo: Caroline Price)

GVLT Trails Director Matt Parsons adds, “Highland Glen has become such a popular place to walk and ride in the summer that it’s nice to have a route that gives people the option to snowshoe with their dog or wander on foot. We’re so grateful to BSF and Bozeman Health for coming up with a solution for people who don’t ski but still want to enjoy this amazing natural area.”


Uses: walking, running, snowshoeing, classic skiing, fat-tire biking

Dogs: on leash only, and only on the multi-use trail.

You can access this trail in three locations:

  • from Highland Blvd by the Knolls
  • the New Hyalite View subdivision trails
  • the gate on Kagy Blvd by the Painted Hills Trailhead

Note: access is not allowed through the farmstead off Ellis Street.

Trail Markers: BSF installed wood poles with red and yellow plastic discs to identify the route. The markers are primarily located at the access points and where the multi-use trail crosses the groomed ski trail. Be sure to only cross the groomed trails at crossings. Stay to the side and off the groomed tracks when the multi-use trail runs alongside the groomed ski trail.  

The new route gives users access to the East Ridge Trail, which is a popular un-groomed winter route and is easy to follow. The ridge provides excellent views of Highland Glen and surrounding mountains.

Use caution at all crossings. (photo: Rory Martin)


Representatives from BSF, GVLT and Bozeman Health (including dogs on leash) walked the trail last Friday and installed signage. (Photo: Caroline Price)

This is a pilot project, and BSF is hopeful that this will provide the community with better access and limited user conflicts. A few things that will help this pilot project succeed:

  • Keep dogs on leash at all times and be sure they are only on the multi-use trail. (No dogs on the groomed ski trails.) Leashes are a year-round requirement at Highland Glen. And yes, please pick up after your dog, everywhere.
  • Foot traffic and bikes should keep to the ungroomed portion of the trail, except when crossing the groomed tracks in designated crossing areas.
  • This is a narrow, ungroomed trail, which means it’s doubly important to slow down and yield to other users when passing (and to keep the pups leashed). Give each other room and a friendly “hello.”
  • All trail users should use caution at all intersections and crossings.
  • Skiers, please keep in mind that the crossings may have divots and ruts and use extra caution in these areas.

Enjoy! And remember, keep it kind out there.