Butte-Silver Bow adds interactive trail map to county website


Butte-Silver Bow adds interactive trail map to county website

BUTTE, Mont. - Butte-Silver Bow county is trying to make it easier for visitors to it the trails around Butte.

Officials have created an interactive map of the trail system on their county website.

Butte resident Kylie Neal said she runs the Maud S trail a couple days a week.

"I come up to Maud S because it's the only one I'm really familiar with," said Neal. "And you don't really know of any trails unless you hear it from other people."

And that's how Ken Reick found out about Maud S. He said he grew up in Butte and this is his first time walking the trail.

"I just knew about it from other people," he said. "And some of my friends have walked on this trail. so I thought I'd give it a try."

Neal and Reick are just two of many Butte residents who have said it's difficult to find information about Butte's recreational areas. That's why Butte-Silver Bow has put up a map of the trails on the county website.

"A lot of visitors, if you don't have a local friend who's going to tell you where these great spots are, you'll never find them," said Online and Public Information Administrator Justin Ringsak.

He showed us the interactive map of Butte's trail heads, campgrounds and recreation spots. Clicking on a balloon brings up a description of the sites and sometimes videos or pictures of the area.

"You can zoom in, you can zoom out," explained Ringsak. "You can plot routes get directions to different spots, all sorts of nice features like that."

Right now, there are about 40 sites listed on the map, all within an hour driving time from Butte. Ringsak said he plans to add about 100 more.

"When you start listing them out, there is an absolute treasure trove of outdoor activities that are available," said Ringsak.

This interactive map is just the beginning of Ringsak's larger plan, to make a virtual tour of Butte complete with historic sites, museums and local businesses.

"And the reaction has been really really great so far," he said.

And both Reick and Neal said they plan to use the interactive map in the future and they think others will too.

"If other people tell you or you see them on a map then you're more likely to go and explore," said Neal.

Ringsak says if you have a favorite recreational spot that you don't see on the map to please contact him through the county website.

The new map isn't all city officials are doing to improve traffic through Butte's trails.

Butte-Silver Bow received $25,000 from Fish, Wildlife and Parks to maintain mountain bike trails.

It will also be used to improve connectivity among the Big Butte Regional Open Space Park, the BA & P Copperway trail and Montana Tech's bike skills park.

Butte-Silver Bow's Special Project Manager, Julia Crain, told us connecting trails with North-South running trails will create a natural link between uptown and downtown.

"And I think in the long term it's awesome that we can connect two parts of town that are commonly seen as separate with our recreational resources which are public spaces where our people meet together and enjoy space," said Crain.

The connectivity project will begin next spring.

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