State Parks Missoula MT

5 State Parks Near Missoula MT: Explore Montana’s Natural Wonders

Missoula, Montana is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes and is the perfect gateway to explore the state’s breathtaking state parks. With over 170 Montana State Parks to choose from, there are plenty of options for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, these state parks near Missoula offer something for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • Montana State Parks provide a diverse range of outdoor recreation opportunities near Missoula MT.
  • Camping and hiking are popular activities in these state parks.
  • Picnic spots and fishing lakes offer a chance to relax and enjoy nature.
  • Wildlife viewing opportunities make these state parks a nature lover’s paradise.
  • Exploring these state parks allows visitors to experience the natural beauty of Montana.

6 Great Montana State Parks Near Missoula

Montana is a treasure trove of natural beauty, and the state parks near Missoula offer a wide range of outdoor experiences. Whether you’re seeking camping adventures, memorable hiking trails, or a chance to connect with nature, these state parks have something for everyone. From lush forests to stunning lakes and rivers, let’s explore some of the exceptional Montana State Parks near Missoula:

Park Location Activities
Council Grove State Park Missoula, MT Picnicking, Fishing, and Historic Site Exploration
Milltown State Park Missoula, MT Hiking, Fishing, and River Restoration Observation
Frenchtown Pond State Park Missoula, MT Walking, Paddling, and Picnicking
Fort Owen State Park Missoula, MT Hiking, Picnicking, and Historical Exploration
Placid Lake State Park Missoula, MT Fishing, Wildlife Viewing, and Water Activities
Fish Creek State Park Missoula, MT Camping, Hiking, and Wildlife Observation

Montana State Parks

These Montana State Parks near Missoula provide a gateway to adventure and allow visitors to immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes and diverse ecosystems of the region. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply looking for a peaceful escape, these parks offer the perfect setting for outdoor recreation.

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into each of these remarkable state parks, uncovering their unique features, activities, and what makes them must-visit destinations near Missoula.

Council Grove State Park

Council Grove State Park is one of the closest state parks to downtown Missoula. Located on the banks of the Clark Fork River, this park offers a tranquil escape with stunning views of the surrounding old-growth Ponderosa Pine and Cottonwood Riparian forests. Whether you’re looking for outdoor recreation, picnic spots, or fishing lakes near Missoula, Council Grove State Park has it all.

For nature enthusiasts, Council Grove State Park provides an abundance of outdoor activities. Take a leisurely stroll along the park’s scenic trails and immerse yourself in the beauty of the untouched wilderness. The towering Ponderosa Pines provide a peaceful backdrop as you explore the park’s hidden gems.

If you’re seeking a spot for a family picnic, Council Grove State Park offers picturesque picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy the serene surroundings. Set up your picnic blanket under the shade of the tall trees and indulge in a delicious meal while taking in the natural beauty around you.

Fishing enthusiasts will also find Council Grove State Park to be a haven. The Clark Fork River is teeming with a variety of fish species, providing ample opportunities for a peaceful day of fishing. Pack your fishing gear and cast your line into the clear waters as you enjoy the peaceful ambiance of this scenic park.

Historical Significance

In addition to its natural wonders, Council Grove State Park holds historical significance. It was the site of a treaty signing in 1855 between the United States government and the Salish, Pend d’Oreille, and Kootenai tribes. Exploring the park allows visitors to step back in time and gain insights into the cultural heritage of the region.

Plan a visit to Council Grove State Park and lose yourself in the tranquility of its scenic landscapes. Whether you’re looking for outdoor recreation or a peaceful picnic spot, this state park near Missoula promises an unforgettable experience.

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities Picnic Spots Fishing Lakes
Hiking and nature trails Picturesque picnic areas Clark Fork River
Wildlife viewing opportunities Shaded picnic spots under tall trees Fish species diversity
Serene atmosphere for relaxation

Milltown State Park

Milltown State Park is an exciting addition to the Montana State Parks system. Located at the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers, this park offers visitors a chance to explore the natural beauty of the area. The removal of a dam at the site has allowed for the restoration of the landscape, creating a stunning environment for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.

Hiking trails at Milltown State Park provide opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in the breathtaking scenery and observe the river and watershed restoration in action. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a novice adventurer, there are trails suitable for all skill levels, ensuring everyone can experience the wonders of this park.

For those who enjoy fishing, Milltown State Park offers fishing lakes stocked with various species of fish. Cast your line and unwind as you enjoy the peacefulness of nature and the thrill of reeling in your catch. It’s the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends while enjoying the great outdoors.

fishing lakes Missoula MT

Frenchtown Pond State Park

Frenchtown Pond State Park is a popular park located in a more urban area near Missoula. Despite being surrounded by development, this park offers a peaceful escape and a chance to enjoy nature. Visitors can take a quiet walk, go paddling on the pond, or have a picnic surrounded by the park’s natural beauty.

Frenchtown Pond State Park

Activities at Frenchtown Pond State Park

  • Enjoy a tranquil walk along the park’s scenic trails
  • Go paddling in the calm waters of the pond
  • Have a memorable picnic with loved ones amidst the park’s picturesque surroundings

Frenchtown Pond State Park is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a serene retreat without venturing too far from the urban center of Missoula. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful stroll, a serene paddle, or simply a picturesque spot to relax and enjoy a picnic, this park has it all.

“Frenchtown Pond State Park offers a tranquil oasis in the midst of urban development. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy some outdoor recreation while still being close to the city.”

– Local Visitor

Park Features Facilities Activities
Scenic trails Picnic areas Hiking
Pond for paddling Restrooms Paddling
Wildlife viewing opportunities Parking Picnicking

Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to the Missoula area, Frenchtown Pond State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking outdoor recreation, scenic beauty, and a tranquil atmosphere. Plan your visit today and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of this urban oasis.

Fort Owen State Park

Fort Owen State Park is a fascinating historical site located near Missoula, Montana. As one of the state’s first permanent white settlements, it offers a unique opportunity to delve into Montana’s early history. The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, making it a significant cultural and educational destination.

Visitors to Fort Owen State Park can explore the remnants of Montana’s first Catholic Church, which was established in 1850. This beautifully preserved building offers insight into the religious history of the region and the challenges faced by early settlers. Walking through its doors feels like stepping back in time.

Aside from the historic church, Fort Owen State Park also features informative interpretive exhibits that showcase the daily life of the settlers who called this place home. Visitors can learn about the fur trade, agriculture, and other aspects of early pioneer life through these displays.

The park’s natural surroundings are equally captivating. Fort Owen State Park is nestled in the stunning Bitterroot Valley, providing a picturesque backdrop for exploration. Hiking trails meander through the park, offering opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in the surrounding natural beauty.

For those seeking a peaceful picnic spot, Fort Owen State Park has several idyllic picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a leisurely meal among the park’s tranquil atmosphere. Whether you’re with family or friends, the park provides a serene setting for a memorable outdoor dining experience.

Additionally, for individuals interested in learning about the diverse wildlife of the area, Fort Owen State Park offers opportunities for wildlife viewing. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of bird species, as well as deer and other small mammals that call the park home.

Facilities at Fort Owen State Park

Facilities Description
Picnic Areas Scenic spots for outdoor dining
Hiking Trails Paths for exploring the natural surroundings
Interpretive Exhibits Displays providing historical insights
Wildlife Viewing Opportunities to observe local flora and fauna

Fort Owen State Park is a hidden gem near Missoula, Montana, offering a combination of rich history, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities. Whether you’re interested in delving into Montana’s past, enjoying a leisurely picnic, or embarking on a scenic hike, this park has something for everyone. Explore Fort Owen State Park and immerse yourself in the stories and landscapes of early Montana.

Placid Lake State Park

Located in the Clearwater and Swan River Valleys near Missoula, Placid Lake State Park is a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts. The park offers a tranquil escape with its serene atmosphere and breathtaking natural beauty.

One of the main attractions at Placid Lake State Park is its excellent trout fishing opportunities. Anglers can cast their lines into the clear waters of Placid Lake and try their luck at catching a variety of trout species. Whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner, the fishing lakes at Placid Lake State Park are sure to provide an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Wildlife viewing is another popular activity at Placid Lake State Park. As you explore the park’s trails and shoreline, keep your eyes peeled for a chance to spot a variety of bird species, deer, elk, and other wildlife. The park’s diverse ecosystems provide a haven for wildlife, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

For those looking to get out on the water, Placid Lake State Park offers opportunities for paddling. Whether you prefer kayaking, canoeing, or stand-up paddleboarding, the calm waters of Placid Lake provide the perfect backdrop for a peaceful and scenic adventure.


What are some state parks near Missoula, Montana?

Some state parks near Missoula, Montana include Council Grove State Park, Milltown State Park, Frenchtown Pond State Park, Fort Owen State Park, Placid Lake State Park, and Fish Creek State Park.

What activities can I do at these state parks?

These state parks offer a variety of activities such as camping, hiking, fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing, and more.

Which state park is the closest to downtown Missoula?

Council Grove State Park is one of the closest state parks to downtown Missoula.

What can I do at Council Grove State Park?

Visitors to Council Grove State Park can enjoy picnicking, fishing, and exploring the historic site where a treaty signing took place.

What is unique about Milltown State Park?

Milltown State Park is located at the confluence of the Clark Fork and Blackfoot Rivers and offers opportunities for hiking, fishing, and observing river and watershed restoration.

What activities are available at Frenchtown Pond State Park?

Frenchtown Pond State Park offers activities such as walking, paddling on the pond, and picnicking in a peaceful natural setting.

What can I expect to find at Fort Owen State Park?

Fort Owen State Park is a historic site where visitors can learn about Montana’s early history, hike, and have a picnic surrounded by natural beauty.

What is unique about Placid Lake State Park?

Placid Lake State Park offers opportunities for trout fishing, wildlife viewing, paddling, and relaxation in a picturesque setting.

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