Lazy Summer Day
There's no better place to laze it up than in the middle of Montana. Grab some snacks and a towel and get your chill on.
Birdwatching in Central Montana
Birdwatching, or birding, is an increasingly popular activity, especially in Central Montana. And it’s easy to understand why: you get to be out in nature (or indoors if you prefer), you can do it any time of the year, you can do it alone or as a group, kids can participate, and studies say it’s great for your mental health.
Big Springs Trout Hatchery
Located just a few miles southeast of town, this spot is a perfect casual hangout and has something for everyone. The first thing you’ll notice when arriving at the park is a large shelter and picnic tables surrounded by lush grass and trees. This pavilion is great for a quick afternoon picnic, or it can be reserved for the day (with a $20 fee) and is used for everything from wedding receptions to retirement parties. Just north of the picnic area, the famous Big Spring Creek cuts a cool, bubbling path through the greenery. For a relaxing evening walk, follow the dirt trail that runs over the bridge and across the stream to tour the rest of the park.
Big Spring Creek
Big Spring Creek, one of the largest spring-fed streams in Montana, originates 9 miles southeast of Lewistown, near the state's Big Springs Trout Hatchery. It runs northwesterly 30 miles, mainly between the Big Snowy and Judith mountains, and enters the Judith River west of Brooks, Montana. Enclosing the large spring at the head of the creek, giant willows and cottonwoods shade a park and wildlife viewing area.
Judith Basin Day Drive
Here's a fun drive that loops around the heart of Montana, taking you through some of the best farming and ranching areas around. Head north from Lewistown on 191 to the intersection of Hwy 81, then west to Denton. Stop at the Longbranch Bar there for a quick refreshment, then off through a few sharp banked curves and several miles of straight open road to the base of Square Butte, a geographical landmark seen for miles around. From there take Hwy 80 south to Stanford and check out the shops and pubs there before heading back down 87 to Windham. If you have some time, head south and take in Utica and the Oxen Yoke Inn, nestled right in the foothills of the Belt mountains, before heading back east to Hobson, where you’ll find the Tall Boys Tavern, with great food and drink. If you’re running short on time, stay on 87 at Windham and ride past Hobson and back into Lewistown.
Duane's World Mini Golf Course [Winifred]
From the mind of Duane Bergum comes the melding of geography and sport. Duane's World is a 9-hole mini golf course whose design is based on the Winifred area. This very challenging and therefore very fun layout is far more than your typical mini golf course with a token windmill--this is Winifred as told by mini golf. An 18-hole round (each hole re-stages for the back 9 for a completely new challenge) is only $4, and all putters, balls and scorecards can be picked up at Winifred Grocery during business hours.
Pine Meadows Golf Course
Pine Meadows is a challenging and beautiful 9-hole course, our relocated tee markers and tee boxes provide a back nine experience that is different from the front nine. Pine Meadows will challenge you while providing a relaxing, picturesque backdrop. Test your accuracy with our fairways, trees, rolling hills and sand traps; we have everything you need to challenge you and improve your game. All in all, our goal is to provide you with a quality experience that includes exceptional service and a pleasurable atmosphere.
Stop 1: Birdwatch at Brewery Flats
When you're in the middle of Montana, in the early morning before the town comes alive, there's nothing better than the delighted chirps of local birds to keep you company. Grab some coffee from a local coffee shop and head over to the south end of Brewery Flats where you can easily enjoy the sounds of nature. Common birds include the Common Yellowthroat, Baltimore Oriole, Willow Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Great Blue Heron, Bluebirds, Yellow Warblers, Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Catbirds, Bullock's Orioles, Dippers, Pacific Wrens, and Kingfishers. Information courtesy of Birding Trails Montana: 240 Birding Locations Across the Big Sky State.
Stop 2: Take yourself out for some morning-time golfing
Central Montana has four golfing experiences waiting for you: standard golfing at Pine Meadows and Judith Shadows, indoor virtual golf at Links in Pine Meadows, and Duane's World Mini Golf in Winifred! Grab a friend and hit the green.
Stop 3: Grab some grub and have a picnic at the Big Springs Trout Hatchery
Whip up some sammies and summer cocktails and head out to Big Springs Trout Hatchery for a low-key picnic. The hatchery has a handful of easy-going activities you can do after your picnic, including feeding the fish and meandering on a trail through stone bridges and ponds that were built nearly a century ago.
Stop 4: Float Big Spring Creek
If there’s just one tradition in Lewistown, it has to be floating Big Spring Creek in the summer. It’s a cool, beautiful, easy float, and a great way for families or friends to spend a lazy afternoon. Most people put in at Roundhouse Road or Timberline Road and take out at Brewery Flats.
Stop 5: Do a burger-hop around the Judith Basin
Central Montana is known for its beef, and this burger-hop does not disappoint. This loop takes you around the heart of Montana through some of the best farming and ranching areas around.
Head north from Lewistown on 191 to the intersection of Hwy 81, then west to Denton. Stop at the Longbranch Bar there for a quick refreshment, then off through a few sharp banked curves and several miles of straight open road to the base of Square Butte, a geographical landmark seen for miles around. From there take Hwy 80 south to Stanford and check out the shops and pubs there before heading back down 87 to Windham. If you have some time, head south and take in Utica and the Oxen Yoke Inn, nestled right in the foothills of the Belt mountains, before heading back east to Hobson, where you’ll find the Tall Boys Tavern, with great food and drink. If you’re running short on time, stay on 87 at Windham and ride past Hobson and back into Lewistown.
Stop 6: Catch a movie at the historic Judith Theatre
This is the best theatre you'll ever catch a movie in. Opened in 1914 on Main Street, the historic Judith Theatre has been in use ever since. It was remodeled in 2007 and transformed into a twin. It's currently part of the Polson Theatres chain.