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Cochrane Dam open for public crossing on August 13

cochrane dam
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Posted at 11:59 AM, Aug 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-10 14:05:57-04

Bicyclists and hikers will have another opportunity to access and cross the Missouri River at Cochrane Dam on Saturday, August 13, 2022, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. A similar event was held several weeks ago.

FWP said in a news release that the dam is usually closed to public access; normally only available as an out-and-back hike or ride, opening the dam for public access on this day will allow trail users to make a loop and hike or ride both sides of the river on the same trip.

Cochrane Dam can be accessed via:
Lewis & Clark Trailhead

  • A 3.6 mile hike/ride starting on the paved trail going towards the crooked falls overlook and then following the marked trails to the dam.  Trail is moderate in difficulty.   
  • A 3.5 mile hike/ride following the marked trails the entire way.  This is a dirt single track trail and features rolling hills and an elevation change of 300-400 feet.  Trail is moderate in difficulty. 

Rainbow Trailhead

  • A 2.5 mile hike/ride from Rainbow Trailhead on the gravel service road, with rolling hills and 100-200 feet of elevation change. 
  • A 3.7mile hike/ride from Rainbow Trailhead onto the River’s Edge trail, with 300-400 feet of elevation change, rolling hills and some single-track spots.     

The River’s Edge Trail from the North Shore to the South Shore (or vice versa) can be used to reach Cochrane Dam, and once there, visitors may hike or walk their bike across the river on the dam. Giant Springs State Park staff or volunteers will be present on both sides of the dam to run the event, and signage will be out around the trails to help direct visitors.

Trail users should expect to encounter heavier than normal traffic during this event, and bicyclists should control their speed, yield to all, stay to the right except when passing, and ring a bell or call out before passing. A few areas of the trail are rated as moderately difficult and riders should plan accordingly. The event is subject to change; for more information call Giant Springs State Park at 406-727-1212.


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