Girls on the Trail returns for second summer

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A program designed to get teenage girls out on the Whitefish Trail is returning again this summer.

Girls on the Trail is a collaboration between Whitefish Legacy Partners and community partners to bring girls ages 12 to 15 out on the trail for a week of mountain biking, hiking, photography, writing, volunteer events.

“The program provides teenage girls in the Flathead Valley an opportunity to find their own love of mountain biking, their own appreciation of trails and open lands, their own creativity through writing and photography, and their own strength through hard work and mentorship,” according to Margosia Jadkowski, program director for Whitefish Legacy Partners.

This year’s program runs July 8-11 from noon to 5 p.m. on those days.

Girls on the Trail began in 2018 in memory of Katy Branston and her passion for biking, trails and community.

The program is free, though pre-registration is required. Sign up at www.whitefishlegacy.org/girls-on-the-trail

The program includes:

• Mountain Biking: During a mountain biking clinic and group ride, led by Beyond the Boundaries instructors and volunteer Whitefish Trail Patrollers, the girls will learn mountain biking fundamentals through skill-building exercises and practice those skills riding the trail. Participants must know how to ride a bike, but all mountain biking experience levels are welcome. Free bike rentals are available if needed.

• Hiking: Hitting the trail for a hike, the girls will explore the cedar groves and wildflowers of Haskill Basin, while getting to know each other and talking about community, resiliency, and the strength that time spent outdoors cultivates with Sara Boilen.

• Writing: Led by adventure writer Clare Menzel, the girls will enjoy a writing workshop beside Haskill Lake, inspired by views of Big Mountain and the Whitefish Range.

• Yoga: Surrounded by the sights and sounds of the forest, the girls will connect to their breath and practice beginner yoga with instruction from a certified yoga teacher.

• Trail Work: Spending the afternoon swinging a Pulaski or using a saw on the Whitefish Trail will create a unique opportunity for the girls to build confidence using tools, believe in their ability to complete any task set before them, work as a team, and feel satisfaction from work well done and giving back to our community trail.

• Photography: The girls will explore the landscapes around the Whitefish Trail through the lens of a camera, learning photography fundamentals from professional Lindsey Jane Photography. Cameras are available if needed.

The Whitefish Trail is the anchor project of Whitefish Legacy Partners and the result of collaborative partnerships providing public access and recreation while protecting clean water, thriving forests, and prime wildlife habitat on open lands surrounding Whitefish Montana. To date, Whitefish Legacy Partners and the City of Whitefish have established over 42 miles of a recreational trail system accessed by 12 trailheads.

For more information about this program, visit www.whitefishlegacy.org or call 406-862-3880 or email margosia@whitefishlegacy.org.

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