Places: Lone Pine State Park Visitor Center

By Beacon Staff

The visitor center at Lone Pine State Park creates an educational environment where patrons can learn about living in the interface between wildlife and urban growth.

Beyond the front doors of the recently expanded center, a small grizzly bear mount is seen stepping on a garbage can. The setting recreates the front porch of a home with spilled dog food, a low bird feeder and accessible garbage creating a visual representation of some of the challenges the growing valley faces.

Take advantage of the interactive quizzes, including recognizing trees and identifying animal pelts and antlers. The valley’s topography becomes three dimensional while peering through the 3-D glasses at a large stereo map. Each fiber optic point of light shows an incident involving black bear, grizzly bear and mountain lion as well as native bull trout and cutthroat trout locations.

The view from the center stretches from the north end of Flathead Lake to Glacier National Park with vistas of Jewel Basin and the Swan Mountain Range. The park also offers more than 5 miles of hiking and walking trails.

Flathead Audubon Society joins with the park to host their second annual Raptor Day Celebration on Saturday, Sept. 13. The event will include bird walks in the morning and educational booths about habitat and conservation throughout the day.

How to get there:
From downtown Kalispell, travel west on Idaho Street (U.S. Highway 2). Turn south on Meridian Road. At the end of Meridian Road, veer west on Foys Lake Road. Turn left on Lone Pine Road at Foys Lake. Signs to the park mark the way.

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