Copper City Trails is a project by the Southwest Montana Mountain Bike Association in partnership Bureau of Land Management. The plan calls for 18 miles of bike-optimized trails, open to hikers and trail runners. The scope encompasses beginner-friendly trails, xc ridge trails, flow trails, two downhill-only trails, and a skinny technical loop. There will also be a skills park with dirt jumps and a pump track to cater to all abilities.

Get Involved

We are Fundraising for this ambitious project.

Phase Two - Raise $112,000

Phase 1 was an amazing success, with over 200 people showing up for our grand opening of the Green Eagle trail on National Public Lands Day. We are currently planning for Phase 2, which will include 8 more miles of trails, 2 of which are bike only/downhill only trails! We are also going to install a changing room/bathroom at the trailhead. Our proposed budget for this phase is $112,000, and we need your help!

You can also mail a check to SWMMBA with the memo 'Copper City' to:

PO Box 1855 Bozeman, MT 59771


Phase One - COmplete

We are set out to raise $110,000 in 2017 and we got your help! This phase consisted of a 3.5 mile beginner loop, 6.5 miles of intermediate trail and a trailhead. 

SWMMBA has been able to accommodate adaptive cycling at Copper City. Phase 1 included 5.7 miles with a 40” tread that will allow their hand cycles to navigate the trails. Phase 2 will have another 7 miles for these inspiring riders. Parking and the outhouse that will meet ADA standards.

A Piece Of History

The history of mining in the area dates back to 1300 BC where the peoples of Pelican Lake mined for chert. By the late 1800’s early settlers to Gallatin County recognized colors in the rock outcroppings and found gold in a massive boulder of copper quartz. After digging directly beneath the boulder, the shaft yielded several mining car loads of high grade ore, causing considerable interest from several mining companies. The newcomers staked out a number of mines and got to work.

Through the 1880’s, mining companies dwindled with little success. In 1889, a number of the claims were purchase by one of the leading capitalists in the area. Local residents speculated that a smelter would be built near Three Forks and the town would be chosen as the state capitol, but when the financial crisis of 1893 hit, a number of the mining companies took a turn for the worse. Nearing the turn of the century, the mining in Copper City continued to decline for various reasons as the town of Three Forks flourished.