UM Plans Temporary Detour to M Trail

Students hike the M Trail above the University of Montana campus. (UM file photo)

MISSOULA – The University of Montana’s popular M Trail will get a makeover this spring and summer. As part of this effort, a temporary detour to reach the trailhead will start Monday, June 15, and last about two weeks.

Marilyn Marler, UM’s natural areas specialist, said the re-route will take hikers through UM’s Peony Garden near peak bloom.

“We ask walkers and hikers to stay on the sidewalk – not the beds – and enjoy the show,” Marler said. “Please don’t pick the flowers. Leave them for the next person to enjoy.”

She said this is the third year for the Howard and Chinwon Reinhardt Peony Garden on campus, “and it’s looking great!”

Marler requests that all visitors leash their dogs in the area at least through June, as many baby animals are found in the grasslands adjacent to the trail.

“The fawns and ground-nesting birds really need our help,” she said. “Overly enthusiastic dogs can really hurt wildlife. Additionally, we have two bighorn sheep that are hanging around the M Trail and even visiting campus. Off-leash dogs can chase them deeper into town, which is not ideal. We want the rams to move up and over Mount Sentinel, where they can feel safe.”

For more about the M Trail renovation project, visit


 Contact: Marilyn Marler, UM natural areas specialist, 406-544-7189,