Blue Mountain Folf Course: Too Much Fun to Hike Past

Publisher’s Note: Make It Missoula is publishing the writings of University of Montana students enrolled in Nadia White’s autumn semester 2014 Adventure Writing class. Each student was assigned a Missoula area trail to explore and write about. Read more about Nadia White, this assignment, and the University of Montana School of Journalism’s Adventure Writing class.

By DEVIN SLATER

I got out of my truck and opened the door so the person in the back could get out. Looking back, he seemed to be in a little sardine can with barely enough room. He didn’t seem to be at all comfortable.

Joe and Dylan both told me they were very good at folf, but they had never been to the Blue Mountain course.

Blue Mountain is covered in trails to follow. There are trails for biking, hiking and even horseback and dirt bike riding. It seems like if there is anything you want to do outdoors you can find it at Blue Mountain. But honestly, I wouldn’t know those trails. I never get past the folf course.

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View from Blue Mountain Folf Course. Photo by ©DevinSlater.

I knew the Blue Mountain course well: The first hole is up a little hill, not too bad of a warm up for the legs. It gets the blood pumping for a fun hour and a half, the time I usually spend on the course.

This Sunday, Dylan went first. He barely got out over the little trench. Then we had our first search: As Joe threw his disc he let go late, lost his disc when it hit a tree and rolled out of sight. We finally found it by the bottom of the small hill we hiked to get to the first hole. We went on. We got through the rest of the first hole and the second one without incident.

It only took a little while before our group remembered that folf can be a contact sport. If you have ever been folfing you know that safety can be a major thing. My freshman year in high school I went folfing with a group of people I knew, people I had been folfing with on a couple different occasions. One person didn’t yell heads or warn anyone when they threw a disc and it hit someone right square in the noggin, opening up a large cut next to the person’s eye.  He had to be rushed to the hospital for stitches.

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Blue Mountain Folf Course. Photo by ©DevinSlater.

At Blue Mountain, we had our first close call when someone wasn’t paying attention and got hit in the leg by ricochet disc. It came right off of a tree and into his leg. The disc didn’t end up doing too much damage but I thought I  could hear birds chirping and other animals chortling and it sounded like the woods were laughing. The noise was probably there the whole time but I didn’t hear it until the ricochet.

Folfing with a crowd takes longer than it does when I go alone — almost two and a half hours to finish the game. But when we were done and were back in the car Joe and Dylan asked when we would go again.

I love the Blue Mountain course. It makes me feel like I am right at home, just me and the woods and the laughing animals.

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Blue Mountain Trailhead

Besides an 18-hole folf course, Blue Mountain has 45 miles of trails to explore, including ATV and motorcycle trails, horse- and foot-only trails, mountain biking trails. There is a handicapped access overlook.

Getting there:

The Recreation Area is located just two miles southwest of Missoula. Take Highway 12 south to Blue Mountain Road. The first trailhead is 1 mile up that road. The next left is the Lookout Road, No. 365. You can follow the road and go through much of the system of trails.

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Slater_MM_SelfieDevin Slater grew up in Kalispell and has been adventuring in the beautiful Montana wilderness ever since he has been able to go camping with his family. He has been a coach for the Special Olympics for fiveyears.