Join hundreds of trail enthusiasts in Helena, Montana, for the 21st Annual Don’t Fence Me In Virtual Trail Run and Trail Challenge. We just couldn’t let such an important community event go by the wayside, so we’re going virtual again this year. 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 continue join in the fun until we can safely hold an in-person race once again.

The turnout and enthusiasm for our first-ever virtual race and challenge last year blew us away. This year we’ve got a few new twists in store.

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 once again 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 for just $30. As always,kids 17 and under register for free! Sign Fido up for the dog challenge for an additional $5 or, for $5 each, add the 5k, 12k, 20k, 30k, and new Quadfecta (see details below!).

How the virtual challenge works

Anytime between May 8 and June 1, participants can run the established 30k, 20k, 12k or 5k courses and turn in their best time for a shot at the virtual podium, or for personal satisfaction, if you’re not speedy.

In addition, everyone, from early birds to night owls, is encouraged to spread their wings on just about any trail and log their miles 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 the awards. You might be happily surprised that you are in the running this year. For example, dogs that log the most miles, the mountain-biker who climbs the most elevation, or the person who goes the distance in a wheelchair. 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 21st Annual Don’t Fence Me In Trail Run!

Registration will remain open through May 31st.

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 - Coming Soon

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.

Trail Challenge Categories

Award Categories

There will be 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-place bragging rights for the fastest males and females in each distance of the established 30k, 20k, 12k, and 5k courses as well as the new Quadfecta (your best times for the 5k, 12k, 20k, and 30k combined). 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 Trail Challenge categories.

Trail Challenge Categories:
NEW! Trail Bingo!

This year we’re introducing Trail Bingo, perfect for families and kids at heart. We’re celebrating PPLT’s 25th anniversary this year, there are 25 days in the Trail Challenge, and there are 25 squares on a Bingo card. Coincidence? We think not! Complete all 25 activities and enter your Bingo card in a prize drawing!

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].

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

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 2021 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! 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:

2021 Sponsors

Mount Helena Presenting Sponsor

Mount Ascension Sponsors

Rodney Ridge Sponsors

Springhill Meadow Sponsors

Ascent Bank

Augustine Properties

The Base Camp

Heuiser Physical Therapy

Made To Move Chiropractic

Mast Laser Dentistry

Montana State Fund

New Fields

NorthWestern Energy

Opportunity Bank of Montana

Performance Injury Care and Sports Medicine

Stonetree Climbing Gym

Valley Bank

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