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Old 07-23-2012, 12:28 PM
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A friend and I are passing through Missoula toward Bozeman, staying just overnight next month and are looking for some hiking trails, parks, maybe a place to picnic. MT is chock full of parks but never having been there, i'm a little overwhelmed and don't know which parks/nature area's are better than others. Would appriciate some insider's advice :O) In advance, thank you for the tips!
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:29 PM
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Quick downtown picnic- Caras Park

Fairly quick walk

Your Guide to trails in and around Missoula

Easier stuff
Your Guide to trails in and around Missoula

if you have more time maybe go up Blodgett Canyon or go down to Lake Como.

Or check this out http://www.carrousel.com/acfm/
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:57 PM
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If you'll be in town on a Wednesday, there's Out to Lunch at Caras Park, downtown along the river which has live music and food vendors.

Sounds like you won't have a lot of time. I'd recommend a quick hike up to the M on Mount Sentinel just east of the University of Montana campus. You can continue up the mountain to the very top and the views are spectacular. Kind of strenuous, though. Or drive up the Rattlesnake neighborhood to the Rattlesnake Wilderness Area trailhead parking lot. There are several trails you can take from there. Good birdwatching. We saw a black bear the last time we biked up there.

I wouldn't recommend the Kim Williams Nature Trail which runs along the Clark Fork River from the UM campus and through Hellgate Canyon. While it's flat (an old railroad grade), it's jam-packed in the summer with casual hikers, bicycles, dogs, and transients, and it's just not that interesting.

Have fun!
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:38 AM
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Three Forks area - Madison buffalo jump and Headwaters state park. Get a map from state tourism department website and take a "scenic byway or two"....the interstate from Missoula to Bozeman is least picturesque in all of Montana. Getting off the interstate is crucial for experiencing Montana. The state wildlife and parks dept has website where you can get map of all state parks. Once in Bozeman the Museum of Rockies dinosaur hall is worth the time.

If you have an extra half a day the Lewis &Clark caverns by Whitehall and then dinner or lunch in canyon at Lahood.

Or for some real Montana have dinner at Logan at Land of Magic (always have the New York) before you get to Bozeman. Your water will be served in well worn plastic pepsi glasses that will make you laugh but the steaks are always great.
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