The Bitterroot National Forest is accepting public comments on two trail projects they have planned on the Darby Ranger District. The C. Ben White Trail will be about one and a quarter mile long in the upper Hart Bench area. It is designed as a non-motorized trail for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. The trail will tie into a network of trails that already exist in the area. Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest said it is also next to a newly acquired Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks area that includes a fishing access site and a trailhead.

The other project would be a motorized trail for ATVs and motorcycles. The Cold Spring Hill Trail includes about 4 miles of closed forest roads that were converted to trails, and about a mile of newly constructed connector trails that will designed for the small vehicles. McKay said the trails have great views of the Bitterroot Mountains, including Trapper Peak.

Public comments on the plans are being accepted until February 15. You can find maps of the areas on the Bitterroot National Forest website. Click on "Land and Resource Management," and on that page click on "Projects." McKay said they would like to begin work on the two trails this June.

If you need more information, contact Mark Smith at the West Fork Ranger District at 406 821-1218. Mark is the Trails Specialist for the Bitterroot National Forest. If you want to make a comment, email comments-northern-bitterroot-darby@fs.fed.us.

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