Montana Nature, State Parks July 11, 2018
These 9 Montana Parks Are Small In Size, But Rich In Beauty
Montana is home to some of the most incredible parks and wilderness areas on the planet. And although we (sadly) can’t go to Glacier National Park every day, there are plenty of pristine places to enjoy nature that are much more easily accessible. These state parks are a little on the small side, but they’re amazing.
1. Black Sandy State Park
Located on the shores of the Hauser Reservoir near Helena, this 43-acre park is a boater's paradise. Perfect for picnicking, fishing, or even camping, it's no wonder Black Sandy State Park is so popular.
2. Giant Springs State Park
Despite its name, this park is actually home to the world's smallest river, The Roe. But it also has a lot more to offer, like the bubbling freshwater spring and a fish hatchery.
3. Wayfarers State Park
Wayfarers State Park is a 67-acre stretch of land on the shores of Flathead Lake in Bigfork. Featuring rocky cliffs, beautiful vistas, and nature paths full of wildflowers, it's an underrated gem.
4. Natural Bridge Falls
Big Timber's Natural Bridge scenic area features a 105-foot-tall limestone rock layer, forming the falls. You'll also find hiking trails, a gravity-defying limestone arch, and plenty of picnic areas.
5. Salmon Lake State Park
If you've been to Seeley Lake, you've probably spotted the beautiful Salmon Lake State Park. Salmon Lake is one of the most pristine lakes in the Clearwater River chain, and the park is great for fishing, picnics, nature walks, and water activities.
6. Finley Point State Park
This small 28-acre recreation area located on the Finley Point peninsula at the southern end of Flathead Lake near Big Arm. There are a few RV and tent camping sites, but it's mostly used for some peaceful lakeside lounging.
7. Lost Creek State Park
Located just a few miles north of Anaconda, Lost Creek State Park is best known for its limestone cliffs and multi-colored rock formations that tower 1,2000 feet above its canyon floors. The park also features features a short walking trail to the beautiful Lost Creek Falls. The park itself is actually pretty vast, but a relatively small area is used for recreation.
8. Placid Lake State Park
This quiet 31-acre park sits at the eastern end of Placid Lake about 28 miles northeast of Missoula. With a boat launch, campsites and a designated swimming area, it has all you need for a relaxing summer weekend.
9. Painted Rocks State Park
You'll find Painted Rocks State Park at the south end of the Painted Rocks Reservoir near Darby. The park earned its name from the green, yellow and orange lichens that cover the rock walls of the cliffs. The park is mostly used for boating and fishing.
No matter which part of Montana you call home, you’re never far from a natural recreation area to explore. If you live on the east side, however, we highly recommend spending a day or two at
Makoshika State Park.