Living Wetlands Interpretive Nature Trail provides educational opportunities in Montana

The goal in making this trail available to the public is to share the history, science, and beauty of the wetlands, and to provide a glimpse into the lives of the wildlife with which we share this habitat.

This three-phased project funded through the Recreational Trails Program by Montana’s State trails program enabled the design and installation of an interpretive nature trail in a 28.8 acre wetland now protected in perpetuity by the Whitefish Lake Institute (WLI). It included building the trail, interpretive trail signs, a main trailhead kiosk and two satellite kiosks, a retaining wall, snow guard rail, directional posts, three bridges, six benches, and weed management work.

Bordered to the north and east by the 215-acre Murdock Nature Conservancy Easement, the Preserve makes available a large contiguous area that protects water quality and provides habitat for aquatic, terrestrial, and avian wildlife.

In addition to protecting the wetlands from development, the project includes wetland restoration to re-create diverse habitat for wetland species. Two branches of Viking Creek join in the Preserve to form the main channel of the creek— one of six perennial tributaries to Whitefish Lake.

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