Walk in the Corps of Discovery’s Footsteps at Tower Rock State Park

The time – 215 years ago – when the Lewis & Clark Expedition was at the location we now call Tower Rock State Park. This easily accessible and incredibly scenic location was where Meriwether Lewis climbed to the top of this volcanic rock, looked back and noted in his journal that he saw a “most pleasing view of the country they were about to leave”. If he had any idea of what arduous terrain they … Read more

Waterfalls, Hot Springs and a Mountain Stream – Your Perfect Central Montana Weekend

Choose your weekend and begin exploring the diverse landscapes of Central Montana. This weekend suggestion will have you visiting a state park, doing your choice of activities – from hiking, fishing, floating, seeking out a waterfall, adding to your bird life-list and soaking in hot springs. Let’s start! We’ll begin by leaving Great Falls and driving east on a highway of many numbers – US Hwys 87 and 89 and MT Hwys 3 & 200 … Read more

Three Historic Jails in Central Montana

Three small communities in Central Montana have some interesting jail history that you can view today. Square Butte, Montana , once a stop along the Milwaukee Railroad as it traveled from Great Falls to Lewistown, has a granite jail built from locally quarried ashlar granite. As you drive in to this little community there is even a sign that says “Historic Jail 3 Blocks”. There really aren’t “blocks” in this community but it probably is … Read more

Four Urban Trails in Central Montana

Easily accessible, scenic and historic trails weave through several of Central Montana’s communities and offer a variety of recreation and scenery. Lewistown Trail System The Lewistown Trail System has 24 miles of trail for walking and running. Find the trailhead on Main Street (211 E Main) in the business district. The trail system connects all of Lewistown’s public schools, a nice perk for kids and teachers who want to bike or walk to school. Big … Read more

Four Season Playground – Kings Hill Scenic Byway

The Kings Hill Scenic Byway on US Hwy 89 is 71 miles of scenic beauty for those who just want a beautiful drive with diverse terrain. It’s also a year ’round recreation playground with public lands surrounding most of the highway. The Byway begins about five miles east of the town of Belt at Armington Junction where US Hwy 89 turns south. Private ranches border the highway here with public access to Belt Creek. As … Read more

Quirky Exhibits at Three Central Montana Museums

Many museums have unique and historic items on exhibit but let’s take a look at some rather quirky things at three of Central Montana’s small town museums. In Stanford, Montana you’ll find the Judith Basin County Museum next to the local courthouse. A well-manicured lawn and beautiful flowers surround the entrance during the summer. As you enter the main floor level of the museum you can’t help but see their massive collection of salt & … Read more

Drink Brews Named For Mining History at Black Eagle Brewery

It was a chilly, snowy late afternoon when I stopped at Black Eagle Brewery. Only one other couple sat at the beautiful custom-crafted polished wood bar. Handmade wooden bar-height tables and living edge wood decor on the walls gave warmth to the brewery and it felt good after experiencing the weather outside. Open for 4 1/2 years, Black Eagle Brewery adjoins a restaurant named The Pit Stop. Across the street to the west is a … Read more

Waterfalls, Freshwater Springs and a Smokestack

The five waterfalls of the Mighty Missouri River are the liquids that gave the town known as Great Falls its name. The Missouri River drops a total of 612 feet in ten miles as it tumbles over five waterfalls. About 187 feet of that drop is the plunge from the series of waterfalls, and the remaining 425 feet comes from the descent of the riverbed. Black Eagle Falls are the uppermost falls and they are … Read more

Ghost Towns & Gold Mines in Central Montana

The area near Lewistown, literally the center of Montana, has a history of gold mining, and with the boom and bust associated with that, there are now ghost towns. I took a driving tour following along portions of the Ghost Towns/Gold Mines history detailed in a brochure available at the Lewistown Chamber of Commerce. It’s a self-guided driving tour but I was lucky to connect with a historian who lives in one of the areas … Read more

Charles M. Russell and the 1919 Victory Stampede

It’s been 100 years since an amazing exhibition of Charlie Russell’s masterpieces went on view at the Calgary Stampede. At that time, Russell headlined the exhibits in an effort to help boost a struggling Stampede Rodeo in the Alberta town of Calgary. The event spanned one week and the events and exhibits commemorated and chronicled the changing West, a good fit for cowboy Charlie’s art. Charlie and Nancy Russell shipped 24 paintings and 8 bronzes … Read more