Situated within the expansive South Hills Trail System, Helena, Montana's Eddye McClure Trails—East and West—offer an intricate blend of technicality and natural splendor. These two-way shared trails entangle themselves mostly through forested terrains and offer a challenging experience even for the advanced biker.
Starting from the eastern trailhead at the junction of South Hills Road and Martinez Gulch Road, the ride begins with a steady 200-foot climb that serves as a nice warm-up. This is followed by a rewarding down-sloping section filled with myriad switchbacks that keep riders on their toes. Arriving at Arrowroot Drive, the endpoint of Eddye McClure East, one is presented with two options: either turn back for a 5-mile round-trip or continue another mile (and 150 vertical feet) into Eddye McClure West, eventually connecting with the Mount Ascension Loop.
From downtown Helena, riders can snake through the city's eastern suburbs or take the quicker Highway 15 route. After a right onto Saddle Drive and a quick left into South Hills Road, follow it for about 30 yards to reach Martinez Gulch Road. Here, a small parking lot indicates the eastern trailhead, where your journey begins.
These trails require keen attention to detail:
The Eddye McClure Trails, with their mix of technicality and scenic beauty, offer a robust mountain biking experience in Helena, Montana. Though challenging, these trails can be an excellent proving ground for bikers looking to hone their skills. Just remember, take those switchbacks seriously, or they'll take you for a ride!