After making your way to the top of the 'M' trail, you spend a few minutes looking out over the majestic views of Missoula, then set out on the oh-so-easier trek back down to where the journey began. Of course you take in all the sights as you make your way up and down Mount Sentinel - but are you really looking at the trail itself? All the activity has left the 'M' trail with some serious wear and tear.

Volunteers are being sought for projects to improve the trail's appearance and to help counter various effects of erosion. And because it's 2020, of course COVID-19 has had a hand in slowing down the amount of work that can be done. Why wouldn't it? The large gatherings of people to perform tasks is out, while small groups are being sought to do work on the trail while social distancing is the new way of the world.

If you have a bit of time and effort to spare - volunteers are needed for projects that mostly range from one to four hours. If you've been getting out and hiking the 'M' with a little more frequency because of the pandemic, this might be the perfect time to get involved and lend a hand. You'll still get your exercise, you'll be outdoors, and you'll be doing a good deed so there will be some karma points in it for you as well.

I'm still holding out hope that one day they'll take my advice and equip every bench with 8 inches of padding, fans/heaters based on the season, snack bars, flat screen TV's to check the scores on weekend hikes, and foot massagers. Maybe one day they'll return my call.

If you want to volunteer to help with 'M' trail improvements, send an email to

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