Adventure ideas for 2015: Montana has so much to offer

From the temperate rainforests of Kootenai National Forest to the badlands around Fort Peck, every page of the Montana atlas offers something to explore. Each Forest Service road and tiny blue line on the map represents the possibility of great things, all within the broad and diverse bounds of the Montana landscape.

The Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act, which passed Congress as a rider on the National Defense Authorization Act, added 105 square miles to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex in northwest Montana. “The Bob” is a stronghold for grizzly bears and westslope cutthroat trout. Its high peaks form the spine of the Continental Divide. Each summer the huckleberries ripen along the trail, the beargrass blossoms and the landscape comes alive. If you want wild, “The Bob” has it in spades.

In the temperate rainforest below the soaring peaks of Glacier National Park, an ancient grove of cedars beckons visitors. Accessible from Going-to-the-Sun Road, the Trail of the Cedars is a 0.6-mile return hike that features a number of natural wonders, most notably towering cedar trees more than 80 feet tall.

From badlands to bison, the American Prairie Reserve offers a slice of Montana’s past and a glimpse into its future. APR aims to protect the prairie ecosystem by creating and managing a wildlife reserve that encourages enjoyment of the prairie landscape while creating lasting economic benefits.

If you’re looking for adventure in the New Year forget the pricey plane tickets and the passports, Montana has got you covered. Here are a few adventures to get you started. May your trails be long and winding.

 

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