Connecting Users to the Back Country

Located in the picturesque Lolo National Forest, the Hobnail Tom Trail Bridges and trail provide access to the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall Wilderness areas. This trail connects to the trail system that serves the entire Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex (BMWC). It is heavily used for administrative purposes and for recreation by outfitters, guides, hunters, and backpackers.

There are many substantial trail bridges in the BMWC. The Hobnail Tom Trail, approximately 27 miles in length, crosses the North Fork of the Blackfoot River with two bridges—Smokes Bridge and the North Fork Bridge.

Morrison-Maierle completed bridge inspections on each structure in September 2013. Both bridges showed significant decay, settling, and crushing in the native log structures. If these conditions were not addressed, the bridges would have eventually collapsed.

Morrison-Maierle developed a feasibility study that examined various types, configurations, and locations for replacement structures. The Forest Service settled on two, timber-through truss bridge designs. The new structures were designed in 2017-18 and completed in 2020.