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Naturalist Hike Along the Bigfork Nature Trails (formerly Swan River Nature Trail) | Bigfork, Montana

Outdoor Adventures, Wildlife Viewing Area
Strolling on the Bigfork Nature Trails. The old Swan Highway is now a family-friendly nature trail along the "wild mile" stretch of the Swan River in Bigfork, MT. – Sheena Pate

Driving Directions

The trailhead is at the east end of Grand Avenue, a couple of blocks up the hill past the Bigfork Inn, in Downtown Bigfork.

Overview of this Wildlife Watching Landscape

Local conservationists lead weekly hikes in May and June along Bigfork's Wild Mile of the Swan River to view birds and identify wildflowers.

Continuing now for many years, volunteer naturalist Anne Morley leads an easy amble on during spring months and an occasional winter outing, sponsored by the Native Plant Society. There's no cost to attend, but bring your own water, binoculars, hand lens and field guides appropriate to birds and plants.

On Tuesday mornings, join Neal Brown of Flathead Audubon and Ann Morley of the Montana Native Plant Society for two hours of birding and plant identification along Bigfork's Wild Mile Nature Trail. This trail is level and appropriate for all ages. Meet at 10 a.m. in front of Showthyme on Electric Avenue.

With a trailhead right in town, the Bigfork Nature Trails (formerly Swan River Nature Trail) is a focal project of local residents committed to maintaining public access along this wild stretch of the Swan River. Once the old highway to the Swan Valley, this level trail follows the Swan River east out of Bigfork.

The gated, mile-long non-motorized section overlooks the rushing white water of Swan River's "wildmile," scene of May kayak races. The road continues for another mile past the Bigfork Dam to the new Kearney Rapids Bridge at Swan River Road bridge. Horseback riders, bikers and skiers also use this road.

If you're unable to join Neal and Anne, this is still a great riverside trail to experience on your own!