Grab Life By the Handlebars in Great Falls Montana! If you’re a cyclist and haven’t experienced the diverse trails and cycling options available in Montana’s Basecamp for Art & Adventure, shift gears and point your handlebars toward Great Falls to experience some of the best cycling in the West.

Great Falls is an ideal city to enjoy a bike ride, be it a casual cruise along the Boulevard District to a hard-core ride along steep terrain, opportunities abound to shift your gears. The River’s Edge Trail runs along the Missouri River, and provides the perfect backdrop for your ride. Take a longer ride along the scenic byways the meander through Great Falls. Pick up the River’s Edge Trail map or the State Highway Bike Map. Bike trails will take you throughout Great Falls Montana and beyond. Rentals are available if you don’t bring your own bike.

River’s Edge Trail

With 53 miles of paved and single-track trail along the Missouri River, the River’s Edge Trail provides the perfect opportunity for walking, hiking, jogging, skating, and biking. The trails surround spectacular views of the mountains, prairies, river canyons, waterfalls, and reservoirs. Connecting to Great Falls’ historic downtown, parks, restaurants, and attractions, the River’s Edge Trail is the perfect way to experience Great Falls. Trail highlights include 24 public art pieces, panoramic views of Great Falls at the Warden Park Gazebo, Singletrack trails built to IMBA standards, Access to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, and the world’s largest freshwater springs and shortest river at Giant Springs State Park. Access to the trail is available from 18 parking lots, and has tables, trash receptacles, and restrooms facilities along the way.

Sluice Boxes State Park

State Park has the famously rugged and pristine beauty Montana is famous for. While on the 7.5 mile trail, you will see the remains of mines, a railroad, and historic cabins lining Belt Creek as it winds through a beautiful canyon carved in limestone. The trail begins at the Riceville Bridge and ends at the Logging Creek Bridge.

First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park

First People’s Buffalo Jump State Park sits atop an archaeological site with the largest bison cliff jump in North America. Put your bike on the rack, and head south from Great Falls to Ulm (exit 270). Once you are safely off the highway, unload your bikes and head north on Ulm Vaughn Road. In 2 miles, you will arrive at the First People’s Buffalo Jump Visitor Center. Park your bike outside and enjoy the interpretive exhibits inside. Once you’ve experienced the visitor center, continue on your bike for another 4 miles to the Jump. Once at the top, you’ll enjoy a view of the Rocky Mountain Front where Buffalo once roamed, and every part of the animal was used. Continue west onto Goetz Road until you reach Barker Road, then turn south onto Luebbe Road until you reach 5th Avenue, taking you back to Ulm Vaughn Road. Be sure to have your camera during the 12-mile round-trip adventure.

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Giant Springs State Park

Giant Springs State Park hosts a variety of cycling options throughout the year, and Bike Your Park Day will be a great opportunity to experience Montana’s most visited state park. Weaving through Giant Springs State Park is the River’s Edge Trail, allowing you to bike as many as 60 miles throughout Great Falls. Beginning at Giant Springs State Park, enjoy the 2.1 mile Giant Springs Loop that takes you past the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. If you’ve never been here, stop inside to enjoy the large displays that perfectly capture the Corps of Discovery. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center houses North America’s largest collection of artifacts from the famous 1803-05 expedition. Continue west on the trail to experience the breathtaking splendor of Black Eagle Falls. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can continue west on the trail to the 3.5 mile Urban loop that takes you past Gibson Park, past downtown, and across 2 pedestrian-safe bridges.

Beyond the Dam

The Beyond the Dam bike ride begins at Black Eagle Park and feature 3 bike rides of varying lengths on courses along the Missouri River. One ride allows riders the opportunity to cross the Missouri at Cochrane Dam and Rainbow Dam, which is typically closed to public use. After the ride, enjoy live music, entertainment, food, and giveaways. Later in the day, tour the offerings from Montana Breweries at the Beer & Gear Festival.

Mountain Biking

Great Falls Montana is a playground for the novice and the expert. Serious bikers flock to Mayhem on The River’s Edge Trail, a maze of technical and expert trails created by local bike enthusiasts and agency managers. Mayhem begins east of the Lewis and Clark Overlook of Rainbow Falls at the east end of Giant Springs State Park. Between Whitmore Ravine and Cochrane Dam are 300 acres of open space where expert trails have been created. The trails are marked for the level of difficulty. These single-track sections of River’s Edge Trail have earned a national reputation as a premiere place to hike and bike. The beauty of the rugged river canyon is unrivaled in Montana, and you will see several varieties of birds and wildlife. The views of the Missouri River at Ryan Dam is worth the journey alone. More mountain biking is available minutes from Great Falls Montana in the Highwood Mountains, Little Belt Mountains, and Big Belt Mountains.

 

Bicycling in the Basecamp
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Great Falls is an ideal city to enjoy a bike ride, be it a casual cruise along the Boulevard District to a hard-core ride along steep terrain, opportu…