Mayhem and South Shore Trails

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If you are a serious mountain-biker, you'll want to head straight for "Mayhem", a maze of technical and expert trails created by local bike enthusiasts and agency managers. Mayhem begins just east of the Lewis & Clark Overlook of Rainbow Falls at the east end of Giant Springs State Park. It is part of the more physically challenging unpaved portions of River's Edge Trail along the reservoirs just east of Great Falls.

The first mile of single-track, as far as Whitmore Ravine, is managed by Fish, Wildlife & Parks. Between Whitmore Ravine and Cochrane Dam is 300 acres of City-owned open space where much of the expert trails have been created. There are more sedate trail segments through this area too. The trails are well marked as to level of difficulty and there is something for everyone. East of Cochrane Dam the City owns trail easements along the south shore of Ryan and Morony Reservoirs all the way to Box Elder Creek.

Hikers, bikers and joggers enjoy the beauty of the rugged river canyon, moving through a natural environment far removed from the sights and sounds of the city. There is a variety of birds and wildlife to be seen. The views down on the Great Falls of the Missouri River at Ryan Dam is worth the journey. Check out the Lost Fork Trail along Morony Reservoir on your way to the turnaround point above the waterfall, pool and delta at Box Elder Creek.

These single-track sections of River's Edge Trail are earning a regional reputation as a great place to hike and bike. The City of Great Falls is pleased to provide these unique trails to residents and visitors. The City is being assisted in the development and maintenance of the network of South shore single-track trails by Region 4 Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Recreational Trails, Inc. and the Great Falls Bicycle Club.

Full color trail maps are available at the Park & Recreation Department and Visitor's Information Center.

Click any thumbnail image to view a slideshow

Mountain Bikers on the Trails at Cochrane Dam (Photo courtesy of Doug Wick)Mountain Biker at one of the reservoirs (Photo courtesy of Doug Wick)Hikers at Cochrane Dam (Photo courtesy of Doug Wick)  View from the trail downstream from Ryan Dam (Photo courtesy of Doug Wick)