cooney state park

Cooney State Park: Explore Montana

Welcome to Cooney State Park, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Montana’s breathtaking landscape. Located just 40 minutes south of Billings, this stunning recreation area offers a multitude of activities and amenities for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cooney State Park is a popular recreation area in southcentral Montana.
  • Enjoy excellent fishing opportunities for walleye and rainbow trout.
  • Multiple campgrounds available for overnight stays.
  • Engage in activities such as boating, hiking, picnicking, and more.
  • Explore the surrounding area and nearby parks and trails.

Essential Information for Cooney State Park Visitors

Cooney State Park

Planning a visit to Cooney State Park in Montana? Here are some essential details you need to know:

  • Reservations: If you’re planning to stay overnight, you can make reservations for campsites and cabins up to 3 months in advance. For day-use facilities, such as picnic areas, reservations can be made up to 9 months in advance.
  • Watercraft Inspection: Before launching your watercraft at Cooney State Park, it must be inspected. This is a mandatory requirement for all watercraft entering Montana. Additionally, visitors are required to purchase a Vessel AIS Prevention pass.
  • ADA Designated Campsites: Cooney State Park offers campsites designated for individuals with disabilities. These campsites may only be reserved and occupied by individuals with proof of eligibility.
  • Campfire Guidelines: Campfires are allowed in designated areas of the park. However, it’s important to follow the park’s guidelines and regulations regarding campfire usage for safety purposes.
  • Pets: If you’re bringing your furry friend along, please keep them on a leash at all times to ensure the safety and comfort of both your pet and other park visitors.
  • Quiet Hours: To maintain a peaceful environment, the park enforces quiet hours from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am. This allows visitors to relax and enjoy the tranquility of nature.

By keeping these essential details in mind, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to Cooney State Park.

Table: Cooney State Park Visitor Information

Reservations Watercraft Inspection ADA Designated Campsites Campfire Guidelines Pets Quiet Hours
Up to 3 months in advance for overnight facilities Inspection required for all watercraft entering Montana Reserved for individuals with disabilities Allowed in designated areas Pets must be kept on a leash 10:00 pm – 7:00 am

If you’re planning a visit to Cooney State Park, it’s important to be aware of the essential information for visitors. Reservations for overnight facilities can be made in advance, ensuring you secure a spot at one of the campgrounds or cabins. Additionally, all watercraft entering Montana must undergo inspection, and visitors must purchase a Vessel AIS Prevention pass. Cooney State Park also provides ADA designated campsites for individuals with disabilities. Campfires are permitted in designated areas, but it’s crucial to follow the park’s guidelines. Keep your pets on a leash and respect the park’s quiet hours from 10:00 pm to 7:00 am for a peaceful experience. By understanding and following these details, you can fully enjoy your time at Cooney State Park.

Park Highlights and Activities at Cooney State Park

Cooney state park boating

Cooney State Park offers a wide range of highlights and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a fishing enthusiast, love boating on the water, or enjoy exploring nature on hiking trails, there’s something for everyone at Cooney State Park.

For those looking to cast their lines, Cooney State Park provides excellent fishing opportunities. The reservoir is home to walleye, rainbow trout, and perch, making it a popular spot for anglers. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced fisherman, you’re sure to have a great catch.

If boating is your passion, Cooney State Park has you covered. The park offers a boat ramp for easy access to the water, allowing you to spend your day cruising around or trying your hand at water skiing. With the breathtaking views surrounding the reservoir, it’s a boater’s paradise.

For those who prefer to stay on land, Cooney State Park boasts several hiking trails. Whether you’re seeking an easy stroll or a more challenging trek, you’ll find a trail that suits your fitness level and offers stunning views of the surrounding scenery. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of the park!

In addition to fishing, boating, and hiking, Cooney State Park offers a variety of other activities to keep visitors entertained. From picnicking with family and friends to bird watching and swimming, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So pack your bags, grab your gear, and get ready for an adventure-filled visit to Cooney State Park!

Table: Park Activities at Cooney State Park

Activity Description
Fishing Enjoy excellent fishing opportunities for walleye, rainbow trout, and perch in the reservoir.
Boating Take advantage of the boat ramp and explore the scenic beauty of the reservoir while cruising or water skiing.
Hiking Choose from a variety of hiking trails that cater to different fitness levels and offer stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
Picnicking Relax and enjoy a meal outdoors at one of the designated picnic areas in the park.
Bird Watching Explore the diverse bird species that call Cooney State Park home and observe them in their natural habitat.
Swimming Cool off during the summer months by taking a refreshing swim in the reservoir.

Accommodations at Cooney State Park

Cooney State Park Camping

Cooney State Park offers a variety of accommodations for overnight stays. With five campgrounds around the lake, visitors have a total of 82 campsites to choose from. Some campsites even have electrical hookups for added convenience. The campground hosts are available to assist visitors with any questions or needs they may have during their stay.

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience, reservations for campsites can be made in advance. Check-in time is at 2:00pm, giving visitors plenty of time to set up camp and explore the park. The campsites are surrounded by scenic views and offer a peaceful retreat in nature.

Campground Amenities

Cooney State Park campground provides various amenities to make your stay comfortable. Each campsite includes a picnic table, allowing you to enjoy meals and outdoor activities with your family and friends. The park also offers restroom facilities nearby, ensuring convenience for all visitors.

Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, Cooney State Park is the perfect destination for camping enthusiasts. Experience the beauty of Montana’s wilderness while enjoying the modern conveniences and amenities offered at the park’s campgrounds.

Campground Number of Campsites Electrical Hookups Additional Amenities
North Shore Campground 20 Yes Picnic Tables, Restroom Facilities
South Shore Campground 20 No Picnic Tables, Restroom Facilities
Meadowlark Campground 18 No Picnic Tables, Restroom Facilities
Horseshoe Bend Campground 15 No Picnic Tables, Restroom Facilities
Beaver Bay Campground 9 No Picnic Tables, Restroom Facilities


To secure your preferred campsite at Cooney State Park, it is recommended to make reservations in advance. Reservations can be made online or by calling the park’s reservation hotline. By making a reservation, you can ensure that you have a spot waiting for you upon arrival, giving you more time to relax and enjoy all that Cooney State Park has to offer.

Exploring the Area and Nearby Parks and Trails

Cooney State Park Montana

Cooney State Park is not only a destination in itself but also a great base for exploring the surrounding area. Located in the heart of Montana, this picturesque park offers visitors the opportunity to experience the beauty of the state’s breathtaking wilderness. From stunning mountain vistas to charming mountain outposts, there is plenty to see and do when venturing beyond the park’s boundaries.

Beartooth Highway: A Scenic Journey

One of the highlights of exploring the area around Cooney State Park is taking a drive along the renowned Beartooth Highway. Starting in nearby Red Lodge, this 65-mile route offers stunning views of towering peaks, alpine lakes, and pristine forests. The highway takes you through the breathtaking Beartooth Pass, which reaches an elevation of over 10,000 feet. Along the way, you can stop and explore charming mountain outposts such as Cooke City, taking in the rustic beauty of the region.

Nearby Parks and Trails

If you’re a nature enthusiast, you’ll be delighted to know that there are several nearby parks and trails to explore. Just a short drive from Cooney State Park, you’ll find the Rosebud Battlefield State Park, which offers insights into the region’s history and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Additionally, the Mystic Lake Trailhead provides access to the rugged beauty of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, where you can embark on scenic hikes and reconnect with nature.

Whether you choose to take a scenic drive along the Beartooth Highway or explore the nearby parks and trails, there is no shortage of natural beauty to discover when visiting Cooney State Park. From majestic mountains to serene lakes, this area of Montana is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Services and Facilities at Cooney State Park

When visiting Cooney State Park, you can expect a range of services and facilities to enhance your experience. The park provides various amenities to ensure your comfort and convenience throughout your stay.

For boating enthusiasts, there are convenient boat ramps available, making it easy to launch your watercraft and enjoy the reservoir. If you’re an angler, you’ll appreciate the fish cleaning stations provided, allowing you to clean and prepare your catch with ease.

Cooney State Park also offers amenities for bird watching and photography, allowing you to capture the natural beauty of the park. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the park, providing perfect spots for enjoying a meal outdoors. Additionally, there is a playground where children can have fun and expend some energy.

To ensure your comfort, the park provides water drinking stations and restrooms, including pit/vault toilets. In case of emergencies, dial 911 or contact park staff for assistance. Your safety and well-being are our top priorities.


How far is Cooney State Park from Billings, Montana?

Cooney State Park is located just 40 minutes south of Billings, Montana.

What kind of fish can be caught in the Cooney State Park reservoir?

The Cooney State Park reservoir is known for its walleye and rainbow trout populations, making it an excellent fishing destination.

What activities are available at Cooney State Park?

Cooney State Park offers a variety of activities, including fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking, bird watching, swimming, water skiing, biking, jet skiing, and windsurfing/sailboarding.

Can I make reservations for overnight stays at Cooney State Park?

Yes, reservations can be made for campsites and cabins up to 3 months in advance. Day-use facilities can be reserved up to 9 months in advance.

Are there hiking trails at Cooney State Park?

Yes, there are several hiking trails at Cooney State Park, ranging from easy to moderate difficulty, offering scenic walks and exploration opportunities.

How can I obtain a Vessel AIS Prevention pass for my watercraft?

All watercraft entering Montana must be inspected before launch, and visitors can purchase a Vessel AIS Prevention pass to comply with this requirement.

Are there designated campsites for individuals with disabilities?

Yes, Cooney State Park has ADA designated campsites that can be reserved and occupied by individuals with disabilities, with proof of eligibility required.

Can I have a campfire at Cooney State Park?

Campfires are allowed in designated areas at Cooney State Park, allowing visitors to enjoy a traditional camping experience.

Are pets allowed at Cooney State Park?

Yes, pets are allowed at Cooney State Park but must be kept on a leash to ensure the safety of other visitors and wildlife.

What are the quiet hours at Cooney State Park?

Quiet hours are enforced from 10:00pm to 7:00am to ensure a peaceful and restful environment for all visitors.

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