It seemed hilarious to see dive tanks and scuba gear-clad people in Giant Springs. This state park, located just beyond the east edge of Great Falls, is pretty specific about no swimming in the springs!
The afternoon was beautiful although I erred on the side of caution and wore a light windbreaker. The sun was beaming and we had a light breeze rustling through the variety of trees at Giant Springs State Park.
And then came those funny looking scuba divers flip flopping through the park!
Some had scarf-like protectors on their heads, they wore gloves, some had rakes – it was a sight to see.
After a chat with a state park employee I learned that each year the plant growth in the springs is tremendous. The Electric City Dive Club volunteers their time and expertise to clean some of the growth out of the actual springs twice a year.
What grows in all of that bubbling water? Water speedwell, watercress and yellow monkey flower were in the list the park ranger told me. I’ve heard of watercress but I had to look up the others. Both thrive well in wet conditions with sun. And therein lies the reason he Electric City Dive Club gets to play in the springs and pull and rake vegetation into the Missouri River.
Giant Springs State Park is one of those parks that has something for everyone. Families are a large group that make this state park the most visited of all of the state parks in Montana. If you bring the kiddos along be sure to have some change for the fish food machine at the fish hatchery. Hiking, birding, fishing, bicycling and hunting draw others. The park is on both sides (north and south) of the Missouri River offering an impressive variety of terrain.
The springs are the focal point though. I’d say they are definitely “Instagram worthy”, creating a perfect backdrop for family photos and videos. In the summer it feels like it is 10 degrees cooler when you stand by the springs.
Water that bubbles up at Giant Springs starts its downward flow from the Little Belt Mountains. Be patient – it take 26 years for that journey! There is steady bubbling in the springs happening at the rate of 156 million gallons per day. Pretty impressive.
The water temperature stays constant at 54 degrees, year round. The springs are refreshing in the summer and mesmerizing on a cold winter day when the air is filled with water vapor that perfectly frosts the trees.
Thanks to the Electric City Dive Club for keeping Giant Springs beautiful.