Stay tuned for 2021 event details...

Every step of the way. Every turn of the pedals. Every early morning, soggy afternoon or evening into the sunset…sneakers tied, leashes on, or babies tucked into strollers, we walked, ran and rode for this beloved spring event celebrating our community, local trails, and our connection to them. The 20th Annual Don’t Fence Me In was a special one. Thank you to everyone who kicked off the season with us and gave us your all in the new virtual challenge format in 2020.

We ran, walked and biked 73,802 miles!

Join hundreds of trail enthusiasts in Helena, Montana, for the 20th Annual Don’t Fence Me In Virtual Trail Run and our new Trail Challenge. We just couldn’t let such an important community event go by the wayside, so we got a little creative this year. We’ll be ringing in the race’s big 20th birthday by offering it as a virtual race and a trail challenge. By taking our wanderlust to a whole new level and going “off the grid” of the traditional race structure, we hope that even more folks can join in the fun.

More races, more prizes, more participation, and more community spirit. The annual trail run has been a major community event for years and is a huge fundraiser for Prickly Pear Land Trust’s work. Funds from this race support ongoing projects like the Mount Ascension and Mount Helena land acquisitions, South Hills trail maintenance, and Tenmile Creek Park. This year, it’s all about coming together in the ways we can, celebrating our unifying love of fresh air, and just letting off some steam and running wild.

Register now for the Trail Challenge, 30K, 20K, 12K, and 5K for $30 and, as always, kids 17 and under register for free!

Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors

How the 2020 Virtual Challenge Works

Anytime between April 15 and June 30, participants can run the established 30K, new 20K, 12K, or 5K courses and turn in their best time for a shot at prizes. Participants can also run or walk all four DFMI courses—but no double-dipping for first-place prizes.

In addition, everyone, from early birds to night owls, is encouraged to spread their wings on just about any trail and log their miles weekly so that we can all see what our community is truly capable of. You don’t have to be fast to be a part of this DFMI Trail Challenge. Check out the guidelines below, including where and how to post your miles and all the new awards. You might be happily surprised that you are in the running this year. For example, dogs that log the most miles and people that log the most days out on the trails. Consistency is key, baby (and there are awards for babies, too!). All trails are eligible—South Hills trail system, Tenmile Creek Park, Scratchgravel Hills, and anywhere beyond, even your hometown if you don’t live nearby—the goal is to get outside, stay active and be a part of this community’s 20th Annual Don’t Fence Me In Trail Run!

Bear in mind, registration will remain open through June 30 and shirts will be ordered in July. PPLT will throw a massive public celebration* and pass out a special-edition Don’t Fence Me In Trail Run shirt to all registered participants. No doubt, we will all remember this spring and summer, let’s define ourselves based on how we race to face adversity.

*The summer after-party will abide by CDC standards. Once the coast is clear, it’s on! Participants that live outside of Helena, East Helena, Montana City, and Clancy will have shirts mailed to them.

Same Trails - New Challenge

Join us and get some fresh air!

NEW Virtual Trail Run and Trail Challenge

Choose your challenge today

5K Course

Trail Map

Elevation Gain: nearly 502 ft

Mileage: 3.2 mile course

12K Course

Trail Map

Elevation Gain: nearly 1,400 ft

Mileage: 7.2 mile course

20K Course

Trail Map

Elevation Gain: 2,461 ft

Mileage: 12.37 mile course

30K Course

Trail Map

Elevation Gain: 3,935 ft

Mileage: 18.43 mile course

Sign up today!

(Social) Distancing Race

We’re running with it!

Don’t miss this challenge.

NEW Trail Challenge Categories!

Award Categories

There will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards for the fastest males and females in each distance of the established 30K, 20K, 12K, and 5K courses. This is an honor system, and we trust you are starting at Warren/Miller and ending at Pioneer Park. See course maps for all details. There will also be 1st place awards for all of the individuals that win one of the new Trail Challenge categories:

Trail Challenge Categories:

More categories, there’s something everyone!
Be the first to walk all the trails


Rules and Guidelines

Photo Challenge

We encourage all of you to take pictures of the trails, wildflowers in bloom, yourself enjoying the open space, your friends, your four-legged friends, etc. Post your photos to social media with the #HappyTrailsHelena #DontFenceMeInTrailRun #DFMITrailChallenge and tag Prickly Pear Land Trust OR submit all photos to [email protected].

If you win a category, we will ask you for a photo in early July so that we can show it on our awards page. Let us do the bragging for you!

Follow us on Facebook at Prickly Pear Land Trust and Instagram @PricklyPearLandTrust

Thanks to Jason O’Neil for the photographs from 2019!

Support our Trails - Support a TrailRaiser

For years, individuals in this community have helped fundraise for PPLT by asking their family, friends, neighbors and colleagues to donate in their name. Become a TrailRaiser today and help PPLT get across the finish line and reach our fundraising goal of $10,000!

Keep us trekking along—become a PPLT TrailRaiser! In order for Prickly Pear Land Trust to reach its funding targets for 2020 and continue its mission of connecting land and people through trails and open space, we need you to get us across the finish line. By becoming a TrailRaiser and getting friends and family to donate in your name, you will make a genuine difference in this community and involve more of the community at the same time.

We have had such wonderful TrailRaisers in the past! And every single person, child, or pup has their own reasons to support PPLT—whether they use the trails to get or stay in shape, walk the park for sunshine and fresh air, enjoy learning about the efforts to protect bird and elk habitat, or just love the opportunity to do some real work on our service days. What’s your reason?

Tell your friends and family why local community and conservation are important for you and how they can support it too. Organize a group and TrailRaise together, or sprint ahead on your own. Either way, we have some perks for those who are willing to put in a little extra mileage on PPLT’s behalf. For those who raise:

2020 Sponsors

2020 Mount Helena Presenting Sponsor

2020 Mount Ascension Sponsors

2020 Rodney Ridge Sponsors

2020 Springhill Meadow Sponsors

The Base Camp

First Security Bank

Gold Leaf Physical Therapy

Heuiser Physical Therapy

Jimmy Johns

Montana State Fund

Peak Physical Therapy

Performance Injury Care and Sports Medicine

Valley Bank of Helena

Mast Laser Dentistry

Lindsay Drilling

Augustine Properties

Tetra Tech

Deloitte Consulting

Interested in hearing more about how your business could become a PPLT event sponsor? Reach out to [email protected]