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Hiking Toward Health
A great way to cure spring fever is to get outdoors and explore the various hiking trails Helena has to offer. Hiking is a great form of exercise that relieves stress and gets the heart pumping. It is estimated that one hour of hiking can burn around 350 calories, so if that treadmill just isn't for you, get outside and do some exploring! Listed below are some well-liked trails on Mount Helena and directions for how to get there:
Directions to Mount Helena
Drive south on Park Avenue until you see the sign for Mount Helena City Park and Reeders Village. Drive up through the subdivision on Reeders Village Drive to the dirt parking lot. All trails are nicely marked.
THE 1906 TRAIL is a trail about 4-miles long that takes you to the summit and then down the Prospect Shafts Trail. The trail is located south of downtown Helena.
THE BACKSIDE TRAIL - This trail is an interesting trail passing through a typically open and grassy woodland of ponderosa pine. You'll notice that the pines at the trail's western end have a little fire-blackening at the base of their trunks. Quick burning grass fires are a frequent visitor to such woodlands, and the pines are well adapted to thrive in spite of it.
THE HOGBACK TRAIL - This is a rather rough and rocky trail that leads from the peak of the mountain southward along the exposed Hogback Ridge. It is a lot more fun to go down this trail than to go up, but it offers spectacular views in all directions, and the closest thing to a wind-swept alpine experience to be had on our little mountain.
Named for the prospector shafts about half-way along its length, THE PROSPECTOR SHAFTS TRAIL is a long and very interesting trail that winds through a wide variety of landscapes, and which makes a lot of unexpected twists and turns. A fine way to explore the recently acquired southeast quarter of the park.
THE WEST END TRAIL is the most remote part of the park. The trail leads through a beautiful little meadow in the saddle between Mount Helena itself and the next prominent bump along the ridge. It is a great place to spend a lazy afternoon.
For more adventurous hikers wanting to make a day of it, THE RIDGE TRAIL (sometimes called the Ridgeline Trail) is a 7.5-mile hike that follows a ridge to Mount Helena. After the initial uphill stretch, it's a fairly easy day hike with great views. To do this hike, you'll need to set up a shuttle. To reach the upper trailhead, drive south on Park Avenue until it forks. Take the right fork and drive 4.1 miles up Grizzly Gulch to where another road veers off to the right. The upper trailhead (called Park City Trailhead) is half a mile up this road. Look for a small sign marking the direction to the trail and the right turn. From this trailhead, follow trail 373 to Mount Helena. From there you can take the 1906 trail to the summit and then drop down to the Mount Helena Parking lot.
Swine flu viruses are spread from person to person. It is spread mainly through coughing or sneezing, touching something with flu viruses on it (like a computer or doorknob, and then touching your mouth or nose. Infected people may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to 7 days after becoming sick.
The most important way you can keep from getting the flu is to WASH YOUR HANDS!! Avoid close contact with others who are sick and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, or use a tissue. (Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.) Get plenty of sleep, eat nutritious food and drink plenty of clear, bland fluids. (Managing your stress during this time of taking tests and finishing papers is also important).
If you do get sick, you need to come to the Health Center or go to a Dr., Urgent Care or the Emergency Room to be evaluated and get a culture. The sooner you do, the better! And you need to stay home from work or school to keep from infecting others.
Kathleen T. RN
A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour.