Flathead Lake’s North Shore

Recharge after winter and witness migrating birds along this pristine shoreline

By Greg Lindstrom
A heron stalks fish in the shallows of Flathead Lake. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Living

A spring trip to Flathead Lake’s north shore offers a serene setting for a peaceful place to soak up sunlight and recharge after a dark winter. Grab a blanket or chair, pack a snack and enjoy the scenic vistas of Flathead Lake before the rush of summer recreationalists. Snow-capped mountains make the perfect backdrop to the pristine waters of the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi.  

With wetlands, lakeshore and farm fields, the north shore is prime bird habitat, including the Flathead Lake Waterfowl Production Area. More than 230 species of birds have been identified in this approximately 2,000-acre area along the lake’s north shore. Tundra swans and Canadian geese are prevalent during spring migration. Although the production area itself is closed from March 1-July 15 due to nesting birds, public access is available at Wayfarers State Park near Bigfork and West Shore State Park south of Lakeside. 

Whether you bring binoculars for birding, a camera to capture the views or a pen and pad to chronicle your thoughts, make the most of this incredible natural resource this spring.

Getting there: Wayfarers State Park is located .5 miles south of Bigfork along Montana Highway 35. West Shore State Park is located 5.5 miles south of Lakeside along U.S. Highway 93.

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