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Homeschooling in Montana:

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Field Trips

by Mary Ann Kelley

Montana Homeschool Field Trips

Field trips are listed alphabetically by city.

Nez Perce National Historic Trail

The Nez Perce (Nimiipuu or Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail stretches from Wallowa Lake, Oregon, to the Bear Paw Battlefield near Chinook, Montana. It was added to the National Trails System by Congress as a National Historic Trail in 1986. The 1877 flight of the Nez Perce from their homelands while pursued by U.S. Army Generals Howard, Sturgis, and Miles, is one of the most fascinating and sorrowful events in Western U.S. history. Chief Joseph, Chief Looking Glass, Chief White Bird, Chief Ollokot, Chief Lean Elk, and others led nearly 750 Nez Perce men, women, and children and twice that many horses over 1,170 miles through the mountains, on a trip that lasted from June to October of 1877.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Lewis & Clark, in their quest for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, opened a window onto the west for the young United States.

Lost Creek State ParkAnaconda

Lost Creek State Park is home to spectacular gray limestone cliffs and pink and white granite formations. The park offers bird watching, camping, fishing, hiking, picnicking, RV Camping, and wildlife viewing.

Anaconda Smoke Stack State ParkAnaconda

The old Anaconda Copper Company smelter stack, completed in 1919, is one of the tallest free-standing brick structures in the world at 585 feet. The inside diameter is 75 feet at bottom, tapering to 60 feet at the top. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the stack may be viewed and photographed only from a distance. Interpretive signs that detail its history are located in the viewing site near Goodman Park.

Sluice Boxes State ParkBelt

The parks' history includes the Barker mines and the Montana Central Railroad. Remains of mines, a railroad, and historic cabins line Belt Creek as it winds through a beautiful canyon carved in limestone.

Big Arm State ParkBig Arm

Big Arm State Park is located on Flathead Lake. This park offers visitors camping, beaches, nature trails, and a yurt rental.

Yellow Bay State ParkBigfork

Yellow Bay offers bird watching, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, picnicking, swimming, water skiing, and wildlife viewing.

Wayfarers State ParkBigfork

Visitors enjoy camping, walking, and boating. Nature walks over the rocky shoreline to the cliffs are popular with photographers for an excellent view of Flathead Lake.

Pictograph Cave State ParkBillings

Pictograph Cave State Park is a National Historic Landmark. The area was home to generations of prehistoric hunters. The hunters camped in Pictograph Cave and left behind artifacts and over 100 pictographs. The oldest rock art in the cave is over 2,000 years old. The park offers exhibits in archaeology, educational displays, hiking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.

Lake Elmo State ParkBillings

This urban day-use park attracts visitors to swim, sailboard, and fish. A display in the Fish, Wildlife & Parks headquarters located on site provides weekday interpretation of the park. The park offers a beach, bird watching, boating, canoeing, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, ice fishing, ice skating, picnicking, running, sailing, swimming, wildlife viewing, and wind surfing

Rosebud BattlefieldBusby

This 3,000-acre Eastern Montana rolling prairie park preserves the site of the June 17, 1876, battle between the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians and General Crook's soldiers supported by the Crow and Shoshone Indians. The park includes prehistoric sites and the homestead ranch of the Kobold family.

Tower Rock State ParkCascade

Tower Rock State Park is one of Montana's newest state parks. Visitors can learn about the 400-foot high ingeous rock formation through geology and history of the site with five interpretive panels located at the trail head. Tower Rock State Park is a day use only park. Overnight camping is allowed in nearby fishing access sites.

Beavertail Hill State ParkClinton

This small park offers river frontage,tipi rentals, a one-hour walking nature trail through a thick canopy of cottonwoods, and developed campsites and picnic areas.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National MonumentCrow Agency

This area memorializes one of the last armed efforts of the Northern Plains Indians to preserve their way of life. Here in 1876, 263 soldiers and attached personnel of the U.S. Army, including Lt. Col. George A. Custer, met death at the hands of several thousand Lakota and Cheyenne warriors. The website offers historical information about the park for those who cannot visit in person.

Brush Lake State ParkDagmar

Brush Lake is a deep, clear lake with white, sandy beaches surrounded by grass fields and linear stands of spring wheat. Due to the mineral make-up of this lake, there are no fish. A day-use area is located on the northeast portion of the lake. This area includes a parking area, boat ramp and dock, vault toilet, picnic tables, firerings and a designated swimming area.

Painted Rocks State ParkDarby

The park offers bird watching, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, motor boating, picnicking, RV camping, swimming, and wildlife viewing.

Lake Mary Ronan State ParkDayton

Lake Mary Ronan provides a quiet opportunity to pick huckleberries, hunt mushrooms, and spot interesting birds. Trails lead into the surrounding area which abound in wildflowers and wildlife. You can also fish, swim, and camp. The park offers bird hunting, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, ice fishing, kayaking, motor boating, picnicking, RV camping, swimming, and wildlife viewing.

Tongue River ReservoirDecker

The reservoir offers fishing, camping, and boating. Water sports are popular here.

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic SiteDeer Lodge

Virtual field trip onlineCowboys and Cattlemen - Wide open spaces, the hard-working cowboy, his spirited cow pony, and vast herds of cattle are among the strongest symbols of the American West. Once the headquarters of a 10 million acre cattle empire, Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site is a working cattle ranch that preserves these symbols and commemorates the role of cattlemen in American history.

Clark's Lookout State ParkDillon

In 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through this area exploring the land on behalf of the United States. On August 13, 1805, Clark document the location high on the bluff above the Beaverhead River. The park offers hiking, a interpretive displays of Lewis And Clark, picnicking, sightseeing, and wildlife viewing

Beaverhead Rock State ParkDillon

Sacagawea recognized this huge landmark, resembling the head of a swimming beaver, while traveling with the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805. Site can be viewed and photographed from a distance but is not directly accessible. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Bannack State ParkDillon

Bannack State Park is a registered historic landmark and the site of Montana's first major gold discovery on July 28, 1862. This strike set off a massive gold rush that swelled Bannack's population to over 3,000 by 1863. As the value of gold steadily dwindled, Bannack's bustling population was slowly snuffed out. There are over 50 buildings that line Main Street with their historic log and frame structures that recall Montana's formative years.

Medicine Rocks State ParkEkalaka

Medicine Rocks was a place of "big medicine" where Indian hunting parties conjured up magical spirits. Weathering has given the soft sandstone rock formations a Swiss-cheese look. The park offers camping, picnicking, RV camping, and wildlife viewing.

Elkhorn State ParkElkhorn

In the 1880s, Elkhorn was a bustling mining town. Today, two impressive structures, Fraternity Hall and Gillian Hall, have been preserved as outstanding examples of frontier architecture. Visitors enjoy bicycling, hiking, historical displays and exhibits, and wildlife viewing.

Finley Point State ParkFinley Pt.

This park offers a beach, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, motor boating, picnicking, RV camping, sailing, swimming, water skiing, wildlife viewing, and wind surfing.

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation AreaFort Smith

Immerse yourself in the relaxing surroundings. - The canyon offers a diversified landscape of forest, mountains, upland prairie, deep canyons, broad valleys, high desert, lake and wetlands. Since the creation of the recreation area, people have been able to find tranquil settings to better explore recreation, nature, wildlife, and history.

Frenchtown Pond State ParkFrenchtown

The park offers a beach, boating, fishing, ice skating, picnicking, swimming, and wildlife viewing.

Pirogue Island State Park on the Yellowstone RiverGlendive

The park offers bird watching, boating, fishing, hunting, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.

Makoshika State ParkGlendive

To the Sioux Indians, Ma-ko-shi-ka meant bad earth or bad land. Today, as Montana's largest state park, the pine and juniper studded badland formations house the fossil remains of such dinosaurs as tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops. You'll find a visitor center at the park entrance with exhibits explaining the site's geologic, fossil, and prehistoric stories. The park offers educational displays on archaeology, back-country camping, bird watching, bow hunting, camping, deer hunting, hiking, mountain biking, a museum, paleontology exhibits, picnicking, RV Camping, and wildlife viewing.

Giant Springs State ParkGreat Falls

One of the largest freshwater springs in the world, flowing at a measured 156 million gallons of water per day! This day-use park gives you an opportunity to picnic by the Missouri River, visit the fish hatchery and visitor center, walk along the Rivers Edge Trail, view nearby Rainbow Falls overlook, or visit the neighboring Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center operated by the U.S. Forest Service. The park offers bicycling, bird watching, children's activities and exhibits, fishing, hiking, nature tours, picnicking, river overlooks, and wildlife viewing.

Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State ParkGreycliff

Greycliff is home to the playful, curious black-tailed prairie dog. Interpretive signs provide information on the important role of these entertaining animals in the prairie ecosystem. The park offers educational displays, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.

Spring Meadow Lake State ParkHelena

The park offers bicycling, bird watching, canoeing, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, ice fishing, ice skating, kayaking, picnicking, rowing, and swimming.

Black Sandy State ParkHelena

This popular campground provides access for boating, waterskiing, kokanee salmon and trout fishing, and other water activities. Interpretive displays describe the history of this area.

Montana Historical SocietyHelena

Montana's memory starts here! Established in 1865, the Montana Historical Society is one of the oldest institutions of its kind west of the Mississippi River. Learn more about Montana's Museum, the Montana Historical Society Press, Montana The Magazine of Western History, the Montana State Historic Preservation Office, and the MHS Research Center.

Ackley Lake State ParkHobson

Ackley Lake is nestled right in the heart of Montana's Big Sky Country. The surrounding Little Belt and Snowy Mountains and rich agricultural land captured the heart of the legendary Western artist, Charlie Russell, a hundred years ago. Today, the park offers visitor fishing, boating, picnicking and camping.

Hell Creek State ParkJordan

The park offers boating, camping, fishing, ice fishing, ice skating, picnicking, RV camping, swimming, water skiing, wildlife viewing, and wind surfing.

Lone Pine State ParkKalispell

The overlooks at Lone Pine State Park offer a dramatic view of the Flathead Valley. The visitor center will provide information on living with wildlife in the wildland-urban interface, along with a look at wildlife and forest ecology within the park. The park offers an archery range, bird watching, cross-country skiing, educational displays and exhibits, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, picnicking, running, snowshoeing, and wildlife viewing.

West Shore State ParkLakeside

Glacially carved rock outcrops rise from Flathead Lake to overlooks with spectacular views of the lakeshore and the Swan and Mission Mountains. The park offers bird watching, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, kayaking, motor boating, picnicking, RV camping, swimming, water skiing, and wildlife viewing.

Nez Perce National Historical ParkLapwai

Virtual field trip onlineSince time immemorial, the Nimiipuu or Nez Perce have lived among the rivers, canyons and prairies of the inland northwest. Despite the cataclysmic change of the past two centuries, the Nez Perce are still here. Join us in exploring the park's thirty-eight sites and experiencing the story of a people who are still part of this landscape.

Logan State ParkLibby

The park offers bird watching, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, hiking, ice fishing, motor boating, picnicking, RV camping, swimming, and wildlife viewing.

Travelers' Rest State ParkLolo

Travelers' Rest State Park (TRSP) marks the location of a centuries-old Native American gathering ground lying at a hub of ancient travel and trade routes. Lewis and Clark's 33 member party camped here in September of 1805 and again in late June, 1806 while following one of these ancient routes on their 4,000 mile journey from St Louis to the mouth of the Columbia River and back. Meriweather Lewis called the nearby creek "Travellers Rest." In the summer of 2002, archeologists found evidence of the party's latrine and central fire here, positioning the Park as one of the few sites in the nation with physical confirmation of the group's visit--a truly unique designation.

Council Grove State ParkMissoula

In 1855, on this site, Issac Stevens negotiated the Hellgate Treaty between the U. S. government and the Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d'Orielle Indians to create the Flathead Reservation. The park offers bird watching, historical displays and exhibits, fishing, hiking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.

Granite Ghost Town State ParkPhillipsburg

The remnants of this once thriving 1890's silver boomtown bear stark witness to Montana's boom-and-bust mining history. The park preserves the Granite Mine Superintendent's House and ruins of the old miners' union hall which have been included in the Historic American Buildings Survey.

Wild Horse Island State ParkPolson

The park offers bird watching, boating, fishing, hiking, kayaking, motor boating, picnicking, sailing, swimming, and wildlife viewing.

Chief Plenty Coups State ParkPryor

Situated within the Crow Reservation, this park was the home of Plenty Coups, last chief of the Crow. This day-use park preserves the log home, sacred spring, and farmstead of Chief Plenty Coups. Plan at least an hour to walk the grounds and browse through the small visitor center that traces the story of Chief Plenty Coups' life, and of the chief's efforts to lead his people in adopting the lifestyle of the white man.

Cooney State ParkRoberts

The most popular recreation area serving southcentral Montana. The park features walleye and rainbow trout fishing, boating opportunities, and four campgrounds around the lake. Eleven campsites with electricity are now available at Red Lodge Campground.

Salmon Lake State ParkSeeley Lake

The park offers fishing, picnicking, a boat launch, water-skiing, and reviewing interpretive signs.

Placid Lake State ParkSeeley Lake

The park offers bird hunting, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, picnicking, RV camping, swimming, water skiing, and wildlife viewing.

MonDak Heritage CenterSidney

The MonDak Heritage Center is the MonDak region's premier museum and art gallery, with the largest available exhibit space of any such combined facility in the region. Our mission is to preserve the region's cultural heritage and support its artistic development through traditional museum exhibits and art shows as well as through special programming.

Fort Owen State ParkStevensville

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Fort Owen's adobe and log remains preserve the site of the first permanent white settlement in Montana. Major John Owen established the fort as a regional trade center in 1850 and period furnishings and artifacts are displayed in the restored rooms of the east barracks.

Thompson Falls State ParkThompson Falls

The park offers bird watching, boating, canoeing, fishing, motor boating, picnicking, RV camping, swimming, and wildlife viewing.

Missouri Headwaters State ParkThree Forks

The Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin rivers all join together at this location. The bountiful resources along the river were an important stopping point for Native Americans, trappers, traders, and settlers. Today, the park offers bicycling, bird watching, boating, camping, canoeing, educational exhibits, fishing, hiking, kayaking, RV camping, and wildlife viewing.

Madison Buffalo Jump State ParkThree Forks

Prehistoric people "called" bison to jump to their death below the cliffs on the site this park now occupies. Interpretive displays help visitors understand the dramatic events that took place here for nearly 2,000 years. The park offers bird watching, interpretive exhibits, hiking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.

First Peoples Buffalo Jump State ParkUlm

A visitor center and interpretive trails tell the story of this prehistoric bison kill site, one of the largest in the United States. For over six hundred years, Indians stampeded buffalo over the mile-long cliff. Now, the top of the jump gives you panoramic views of the Rocky Mountain Front, the Missouri River valley, and the buttes and grasslands that characterized this High Plains setting. The park offers bird watching, bow hunting, educational exhibits, hiking, horseback riding, a Museum, picnicking, upland bird hunting, and wildlife viewing.

Glacier National ParkWest Glacier

Virtual field trip onlineCome and experience Glacier's pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes. With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a hiker's paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. Relive the days of old through historic chalets, lodges, transportation, and stories of Native Americans. Explore Glacier National Park and discover what awaits you.

Smith River State ParkWhite Sulphur Springs

The park offers boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, fly fishing, kayaking, swimming, and wildlife viewing.

Whitefish Lake State ParkWhitefish

The park offers bicycling, boating, camping, fishing, picnicking, RV camping, swimming, water skiing, and wildlife viewing.

Lewis & Clark Caverns State ParkWhitehall

Montana's first and best-known state park showcases one of the most highly decorated limestone caverns in the Northwest. Naturally air conditioned, these spectacular caves, lined with stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and helicitites, date back through time. See the geologic development, the history of early exploration and gain an insight into the delicate ecology of this world without light. Plan to spend a minimum of two hours to hike two miles on a guided tour through the caverns. The park also provides hiking trails, a visitor center, an amphitheater, several picnic areas, a large campground, showers, RV dump facilities, tipi, and three rental cabins.

Big Hole National BattlefieldWisdom

On August 9, 1877 gun shots shattered a chilly dawn on a sleeping camp of Nez Perce. Colonel John Gibbon and 163 men of the 7th Infantry and 34 Bitterroot Volunteers had orders to stop the non-treaty Nez Perce and return them to Idaho. The nearly 800 Nez Perce men, women, and children had fled their native lands when being forced onto a smaller reservation.

Yellowstone National ParkYellowstone National Park

Virtual field trip onlineEstablished in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park. Located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, it is home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. Preserved within Yellowstone National Park are Old Faithful and a collection of the world's most extraordinary geysers and hot springs, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The website offers historical information about the park for those who cannot visit in person.

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