Stay safe and socially distant while exploring these lakeside state parks.
Exploring Flathead Lake might seem daunting. It is, after all, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. So where should you start?
1. WEST SHORE STATE PARK, LAKESIDE
Here, the dramatic shoreline of Flathead Lake is on full display. This is an excellent access point for lake adventures — BYO watercraft, or an on-site concessioner rents out kayaks, canoes, and more.
A peaceful row on a calm Flathead Lake is food for the soul. PHOTO: Montana Office of Tourism
2. WILD HORSE ISLAND STATE PARK, FLATHEAD LAKE
This day-use island is accessible only by boat, and the opportunities for wildlife watching, swimming, and hiking are well worth the voyage. (And, yes, wild horses do roam here!)
3. BIG ARM STATE PARK, BIG ARM
After a long day of swimming in the sunshine at this pebble-covered beach, camp in a RV, yurt, or tent under a Ponderosa-juniper forest.
Flathead Lake is truly massive, with so much to explore. PHOTO: Montana Office of Tourism
4. WAYFARERS STATE PARK, BIGFORK
This beach is famous for its cliffy sunset overlooks, but the water is easily accessible for swimming, boating, and more.
5. FLATHEAD LAKE STATE PARK, FINLEY POINT
Launch your boat from this park, which is located on the secluded southeastern shore of the lake. While you’re driving there, be sure to stop by a roadside cherry stand for a refreshing snack to eat on the water!
Cherry orchards dot the shores of Flathead Lake. PHOTO: Discover Kalispell
It is important to remember social distancing guidelines exist at Montana state parks. For updates on closures and restrictions, visit Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
FEATURED PHOTO: Kayakers enjoy clear turquoise waters under the big sky. MT Office of Tourism