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 53 miles of 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, all while connecting to Great Falls’ historic downtown, parks, restaurants, and attractions. Trail highlights include 24 public art pieces, panoramic views of Great Falls at the Warden Park Gazebo, and Singletrack trails built to IMBA standards. Access to the trail is available from 18 parking lots, and has tables, trash receptacles, and restrooms facilities along the way.
Giant Springs State Park hosts a variety of cycling options throughout the year. Weaving through Giant Springs State Park is the River’s Edge Trail. Beginning at Giant Springs State Park, enjoy the 2.1 mile Giant Springs Loop that takes you past the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. 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.
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.
Put your bike on the rack, and head south to Ulm (exit 270). 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. Once you’ve experienced the visitor center, continue onto 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 for a 12-mile round-trip adventure.
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 views of the Missouri River at Ryan Dam is worth the journey alone.
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.