Because of downed trees and snags, the Bureau of Land Management’s Lewistown Field Office is advising the public to avoid using a one-mile portion of the Limekiln Hiking Trail in the Judith Mountains north east of Lewistown, and to use extreme caution if hiking other portions of the trail.
It appears a recent wind event, possibly a micro-burst, blocked the eastern segment of the trail with downed trees and no doubt weakened numerous trees on other segments of the trail. These downed and leaning trees combined with recent rains and the potential for additional wind create a considerable safety hazard.
For public safety reasons, the BLM is encouraging the public to entirely avoid the one-mile segment that makes up the eastern segment of the popular loop trail. People can still hike between the parking area and the Lewistown Overlook (the southern segment of the trail). However, the one-mile trail segment trekking north from the overlook junction is essentially blocked by downed trees and snags.
The agency has signed this segment with emergency information signs and maps. Maps are also available at the Lewistown Field Office (920 NE Main, in Lewistown).
The western and northern portions of the trail are mostly passable for hikers, however additional winds could create new dangers and anyone using these portions of the trail is urged to use extreme caution.
“We’ll be crafting several options to resolve the downfall and snag problems on Limekiln Trail, but in the meantime, we appreciate the public’s indulgence in avoiding the downfall area and using caution on the remainder of the trail. We’ll certainly keep the public informed as conditions change,” offered Willy Frank, assistant Lewistown field manager.
For additional information about the Limekiln Trail, please contact Rod Sanders, outdoor recreation planner at 406-538-1905.