The Bear Paw Nature Trail and Beaver Creek Park are steeped in local history and lore. Native Cree and Blackfeet people referred to the mountains that are the namesake of the Trail as "The Mountains of the Bear". Beaver Creek Park is the largest County Park in the Nation and one of the only that integrates annual haying and livestock grazing to generate funds and reduce fire dangers. The Nature Trail follows an old road created by soldiers stationed at Fort Assiniboine near Havre. At many places along the Nature Trail depressions left by the loaded wagons can still be seen to this day. The Park and Nature Trail's wide variety of native vegetation support many species of wildlife including: antelope, wild turkeys, neo-tropical birds, bluebirds, deer and elk. At the northern end of the trail the vegetation is predominantly grassland while the southern half is a mixed forest of cottonwoods, pines and serviceberry. Dotted along the entire length of the 3.5 mile trail are ground level "bear paw" markers to be used in conjunction with the "Bear Paw Nature Trail" GPS brochure and interpretive panels which highlight the flora, fauna and history of the area. The Nature Trail is open year round to all non-motorized forms of travel and is generally an easy hike but good footwear is recommended. All patrons should keep an eye out for slippery surfaces and downed trees. Development of the Nature Trail has been a cooperative effort between the Hill County Conservation District, Beaver Creek Park Board, Hill County Commissioners and Havre Lions Club. Please note: All activities within Beaver Creek Park require a "Park Use Pass" which can be purchased at the Beaver Creek Park Office (406) 395-4565, Hill County Court House (406) 265-5481 and other area businesses. Both day and seasonal passes are available. Come Hike the Bear Paw Nature Trail and Experience Our "Island In The Prairie".
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