Missoula Ranger District officials will close the 18-hole Pattee Canyon folf (frisbee golf) course for the winter on Thursday, November 1 to provide a rest period to protect soil and vegetation. The course will re-open for the summer on July 1 next year.
The Missoula Ranger District has worked collaboratively in recent years to provide a folfing opportunity at Pattee Canyon and also worked with partners to repair the resource damage that was occurring from roughly 20 years of year-round unmanaged folfing, according to district officials. The Missoula Ranger District and partners such as the Friends of Pattee Canyon, the Garden City Flyers, the Montana Conservation Corps and local folfers have teamed up over the last several years to develop solutions to the resource impacts of folfing at Pattee Canyon.
Multiple restoration and course improvement projects have been completed since 2007 to protect the soil and vegetation while still providing a folfing season. Active management of the course, which includes the seasonal rest, has allowed continued recovery of the area. Specific projects have included fencing to allow damaged areas to recover; trail relocation; a foot bridge over a wetland; seeding and mulching; realignment of some holes; addition of three new holes; on-the-ground Forest Service presence and enforcement of regulations; signage, and placement of rubber T pads and removable baskets. A roadside parking area was also eliminated to reduce impacts to neighboring landowners and vehicle encroachment into the driving lanes.
Missoula Ranger District Natural Resource Specialist Al Hilshey credited the Garden City Flyers for making many of these projects happen.
According to district officials, the resource conditions at the folf course have continued to improve. The district’s goal is to ensure future quality recreation experiences at Pattee Canyon for not only folfers, but for hikers, mountain bikers, cross country skiers, picnickers, runners, nature watchers, and the new recreation uses that will develop as the Missoula Valley continues to grow and expand out into adjacent Lolo National Forest lands. The folf course will open again on July 1, 2013. The Blue Mountain folf course remains available for winter use.