Welcome to Get Fit Great Falls!

Get Fit Great Falls is a coalition of like-minded people who encourage neighbors, family, and friends to get active and make healthy choices when selecting foods for their dinner table.


115 4th St S, Great Falls, Montana


Hikes – Summer

National Trails Day

Hit the Trail - Make new friends - Find an adventure - All for free

National Trails Day 2022

Saturday, June 4th

*Registration Required*

Click Here to Register

GREAT FALLS – Kick-start your summer outdoor activities by celebrating National Trails Day on Saturday, June 4, 2022.  Choose from 10 hikes planned in the Rocky Mountains, Highwood Mountains, along the Missouri River, and on local Great Falls area trails.  This one-day event is hosted by Get Fit Great Falls, a not-for-profit organization advocating healthy, active lifestyles. We want to thank this year’s sponsor, the Island Range Chapter of Wild Montana, for their support!  National Trails Day is celebrated across the nation, but Great Falls historically is one of the largest.  As a courtesy to landowners and fellow hikers, participants are asked to leave their dogs at home.

On-line registration is required and begins Wednesday, May 25 and runs through June 3. To register and view the hikes go to getfithikes.eventbrite.com.  The hikes are free, but space is limited and the number of participants varies with each hike.  In past years, registrations for particular hikes have filled quickly, so make sure to sign up soon!

Hikes range from kid-friendly to strenuous and are categorized into six classes: KidsEasyModerate depending on miles hiked and/or elevation gained.  Hikers are asked to read the hike descriptions carefully before selecting a trail to fit their physical conditioning.  Those recovering from physical challenges, families with children in strollers or folks just starting to get into shape should check out the shorter walks and hikes labeled “easy” or described as “stroller-friendly.”  Those seeking a more challenging experience should watch for hikes labeled “moderate or difficult.”  Get Fit Great Falls reminds registrants selecting a hike to “Understand your skill level about hiking and your physical fitness level. A difficult five-mile hike in mountainous terrain is much more challenging than walking 5 miles on the flat paved sidewalks of Great Falls.”

Be sure to read where the hike departs. Most hikes will depart from Gibson Park but a few will meet at a trailhead.  Hikers are advised to arrive 15 minutes before their scheduled time to meet their hike coordinator.  Some hikes require driving to a trailhead others depart directly from Gibson ParkDetailed descriptions for each hike are available below.

Several trips are being repeated this National Trails Day due to popular demand, Windy Mountain Loop and the Giant Springs hike.  For little ones, the Kiddos Playday Walk with Erin and Derek Merchant is designed for pre-school through second grade children; and the longer Kiddos and Grownups Hike is offered and led by Peak Personal Trainer Charla Brearly.

Montana State Parks, Bureau of Land Management, and USDA Forest Service rangers will lead hikes at Giant Springs State Park, First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park, Sulphur Spring along the Lewis and Clark Trail, Lewis and Clark Pass, and Clary Coulee along the Rocky Mountain Front. These state and federal partners help make National Trails Day all the more special, as most of the hikes traverse public land.

It is advised that participants come prepared with a daypack, lunch, plenty of drinking water, closed-toed shoes, sunscreen and rain gear, as most hikes happen regardless of weather.  In the past, June showers have not dissuaded participants, and the sun has often broken through the clouds for a beautiful day of hiking. Experienced hikers believe in the adage, “There are no bad hiking days, only bad clothes.”

Hike descriptions are as follows (remember to register by clicking here):

Windy Mountain Loop

Length: 7 miles
​Elevation gain: 1200 feet
​Meet: 8:00am at Gibson Park Band Shell
Total time: 5-6 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: Approximately 40 miles from GF
Age limit: 13 and up in good shape; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 12

Difficulty Level: Moderate, Difficult based on length
Coordinator: Sean Higginbotham
Note: Bear spray recommended

Take a hike in the Highwood Mountains! This hike starts at Thain Creek Campground and will lead you through forest, vast open meadows which should be speckled with seasonal flowers, and below craggy peaks. We will climb about 1200 feet to the meadows surrounding the south face of Windy Mountain on this moderate 7 mile loop hike. Bring gear for variable weather, lunch, snacks, water, pack and sturdy shoes for hiking.

North Shore Trail to Box Elder Creek Overlook

Length: 5.5 miles
​Elevation gain: 100 feet
​Meet: 8:00am at Gibson Park Band Shell
Total time: 4 – 5 hours (hike and drive time)
Travel Distance to Trailhead: Approximately 17 miles
Age limit: 13 and up in good shape; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 10

Difficulty Level: Moderate, Difficult based on length
Coordinator: Camille Consolvo and Mike Dannells

Take a hike along the North Shore Trail along the Missouri River. You will walk and enjoy the prairie that looks nearly the same as it did as Lewis and Clark passed through on their journey. At the halfway point we will be at the Box Elder Creek viewpoint and be able to take in the gorgeous views of the Creek, the Missouri River, and surrounding prairie. Bring gear for variable weather, snacks/lunch, water, pack, and sturdy shoes for hiking.

Rivers Edge Trail Mayhem and Chaos Trail tour

Length: 7 miles
​Elevation gain: 400 feet
​Meet: 9:00am at Lewis and Clark Trailhead
Total time: 2-3 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: Approximately 4 miles from Gibson Park Bandshell
Age limit: 13 and up in good shape; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 12

Difficulty Level: Moderate, Difficult based on length
Coordinator: Steffen Janikula, Trails Coordinator City of Great Falls

Take a hike along the south shore of the Missouri River. Head out with City of Great Falls Trails Coordinator Steffen Janikula to view and see two of the most popular trails on the South Shore part of the Rivers Edge Trail. These trails are most used for mountain biking so it’s a great chance to scout them out before heading out on your own! Bring gear for variable weather, snacks, water, pack, and sturdy shoes for hiking.

Clary Coulee–Rocky Mt. Front

Length: Approximately 4 miles total

Elevation gain: 1600 feet, (160 flights of stairs)

Meet: 8 a.m. Gibson Park Bandshell to coordinate caravan

Total time: 6 hours

Travel Distance to Trailhead: 85 miles, 1.75 hours, 3 miles on gravel road

Age limit: 8 and up in good shape; children with legal guardian

Max. Number: 13

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Coordinator: Travis Rixford and Abby Kirkaldie

Note: Bear spray required

This is a great hike in the foothills of the Rocky Mountain Front that ends with a fantastic view of the plains. We will hike an established Forest Service trail that passes through remnants of an old wildfire and various segments of timbered forest. The area offers an abundance of wildflowers, birds, and small and large mammals. Please be sure to bring good, preferably waterproof, hiking boots, rain gear, backpack with three liters of water, sunscreen, and high energy snacks and food. The hike is rated as difficult based on elevation gain, so it is important that all hikers be in shape and used to walking over uneven terrain and have good ankle strength. Notes/Advisory: This is grizzly bear country; please bring bear spray and be bear aware. This is an early season hike, so there may be sections of trail that are snow covered or muddy.

Giant Springs

Length: 3 miles
​Elevation gain: Mostly flat ground with little hills. (half is single track dirt trail and half is paved trail)
​Meet: 9 am at the Giant Springs Ranger Station
Total time: 2 hours, including interpretive stops and talks by the rangers
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 3.5 miles from Gibson Park to main parking area at Giant Springs State Park
Age limit: None, strollers not recommended; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 25
Difficulty Level: Easy/Moderate
Coordinators: Ranger Kasey Linskey

Description: Some trails in Giant Springs are off the beaten path but are rich in history.  Join Recreation Ranger Kasey Linskey to explore and find a few leftover gems from the Montana Silver Smelter, appreciate the beauty and drab reality of boom-and-bust mining operations, and consider a new place to recreate in Giant Springs State Park.

Participants will reflect on how the land uses have changed in time and give consideration to what was here 122 years ago.  Hikers will then access the paved River’s Edge Trail through Heritage Park, wander a portion of the Coulee Trail managed by the Helena Lewis and Clark National Forest, descend to the Missouri River, and debrief by the Giant Springs.  Celebrate National Trails Day on historically rich and scenic trails of Giant Springs State Park.

Sulphur Springs

Length: 3.6 miles
​Elevation gain: 500 feet, (50 flights of stairs)

Meet: 8:30 AM at Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

Total Time: 4 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 17 miles from GF
Age limit: 8 and up with legal guardian
Max. Number: 15
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Coordinators:  Ray Tetreault and Cortney Reedy

Sulphur Springs Trail is part of the Lewis & Clark Trail. It starts at a trailhead next to the Morony Dam (17 mile drive Northeast of Great Falls). Starting from the trailhead, it is a 1.8 mile hike to the Springs site. The terrain crosses through several small coulees. The trail follows the river through a rocky, native prairie landscape. This hike is a guided interpretive walk with topics ranging from native plants to the Lewis and Clark expedition.

On this hike you have to be in good physical shape; please bring insect repellent, hiking boots, backpack with about 2 liters of water, sunscreen, and high-energy snacks and food. We will hike at a moderate pace. The distance is 3.6 miles round trip, which we will cover in about three hours. We will take a snack break at the springs.

Hikers can expect great views and possibly wildlife, including rattlesnakes. Insect repellent is suggested as there are ticks and mosquitoes: a true Lewis and Clark experience! The hike coordinators are Ray Tetreault and Cortney Reedy, both staff at the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center.

Kiddos Playdate Walk

Length: Less than 1 mile
​Elevation gain: None.
Meet: 9:30 am at Gibson Park

Travel Distance to Trailhead: Depart from Gibson Park
Total Time: 1.5 hours
Age limit: None; children with legal guardian
Max. Number: 20
Difficulty Level: Easy
Coordinators: Erin & Derek Merchant

Join Erin and Derek and their little ones for a play time with your children. Plan on a short walk from Gibson Park to a play area where activities will keep your little one active and engaged in fun, fun, fun, including sidewalk chalk drawing! This walk is designed for pre-school to second-grade children. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Kiddos and Grown Ups Walk

Length: 3 miles
​Elevation gain: none
​Meet: 10:00 a.m. at Gibson Park

Total time: 2 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: Depart from park
Age limit: None
Max. Number: 20 children
Difficulty Level: Easy
Coordinator: Charla Brearley

Note: Tennis shoes or good walking shoes required (no flipflops, please)

Grab your parents and join Peak Personal Trainer, Charla for a hike across the Central Avenue West walking bridge, then on to West Bank Park to the playground structure that Get Fit Great Falls helped to install a few years ago.

There are places to stop and take a look at the water, plants, trees etc. This hike is wheelchair and stroller accessible and is designed for children who are active and inquisitive. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Put on your tennis shoes (no sandals please) and come join the fun!

Lewis and Clark Pass Hike

Length: 3.4 miles roundtrip
​Elevation gain: 836 feet

Meet:  Alice Creek trailhead at 10am.  Enjoy a beautiful drive from Great Falls travelling on Highway 200 toward Lincoln.  About 10 miles East of Lincoln, take the Alice Creek road on the right side of Highway 200 and travel 9 miles up a well-maintained, Forest Service road to the trailhead.    

Total Hiking Time: 2.5 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 90 Miles via highway 200 from Great Falls.

Age limit: 10 and up with parent / legal guardian
Max. Number: 15
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Coordinator:  Duane Buchi

Description:  Join Duane Buchi from the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at the Alice Creek trailhead on Saturday, June 5th for an exhilarating hike complete with vast views, wildflowers, wildlife, and fairly quick access to the Continental Divide on the very spot Meriweather Lewis crossed in July of 1806 on his return trip with the Corps of Discovery.   The group will take time to eat a snack / lunch on the Continental Divide.  Duane will also provide interpretation regarding some of the experiences of the members of the expedition while they were in the area.  Additionally, he will highlight some of the common wildflowers.

This hike traverses through grizzly bear country and hikers are highly encouraged to carry bear spray.  Additionally, participants should dress for a moderate hike and be prepared for the full-spectrum of weather.  Some items to consider:  Sturdy, close-toed shoes, rain gear, water, a sack lunch, sunscreen, and insect repellent.

FPBJ Native Women Hike

Length: 3 miles
​Elevation gain: 400 feet
​Meet: 10am First People Buffalo Jump Visitor Center
Total time: 2.5 hours
Travel Distance to Trailhead: 13.5 miles to park visitor center where we meet
Age limit: formatted for 12 and under, but all ages welcome
Max. Number: 25
Difficulty Level: moderate
Coordinator: Ranger Alice Southworth
Note:  Trail is not suitable for strollers
​Today’s hike will talk about the importance of Native Women in the life of the Plains Indians and during the buffalo hunt. Homemakers, master craftswomen, and medicine women, life was not easy and women worked hard. They were held in high esteem for their elemental role they played supporting village life. Learn how hides were processed, what plants they collected for their medicine, and how they owned everything but the weapons