The Montana State Parks Foundation is publishing a weekly showcase of Montana State Parks' 55 properties.
This week's focus takes visitors to a mile north of Miles City, on the north side of a bend in the Yellowstone River, to Pirogue Island State Park. In addition to extensive hiking, birding, and wildlife viewing, the island is a documented site where the Corps of Discovery and Captain William Clark camped in 1806 on the return voyage of that famous expedition.
An isolated, cottonwood-covered island located on the Yellowstone River, the park is an excellent place for enjoying the natural beauty of Montana. While wading through channels of the Yellowstone River is the most popular way to get to Pirogue Island, others stop by as they float down the river.
Did you know?
Pirogue Island State Park is 500 miles from where the Yellowstone River begins south of Yellowstone National Park and 170 miles from where it ends near Williston, North Dakota.
You won’t find any camping at Pirogue Island, but you can go bird watching, wildlife viewing, boating, fishing, hunting, picnicking and more.
A wide variety of bird species including Passerines, belted kingfishers, shorebirds, waterfowl, and bald eagles can be found, as well as whitetail and mule deer.
The island also boasts more than 140 species of plants including a healthy population of cottonwood trees, peach-leaf willow, green ash and red-osier dogwood.
For visitors who enjoy hiking, Pirogue Island features 2.8 miles of designated hiking trails with interpretive signs offering insights on the history and wildlife of the island.
As a level site, visitors will also find an easy walk throughout the 269 acres. When the water isn’t flowing, visitors can take a walk along the tree-shaded side channels and wade through the pools of water that form during hot weather.
Enjoy a treasure hunt? Pirogue Island is a great location to search for moss agates.
Moss agates are a unique agate often found with a lime coloring and gets its name for its resemblance to the color of moss.
The Montana State Parks Foundation helps fund work at parks, for more information log on to www.montanastateparksfoundation.org.