Lone Pine State Park to Host Outdoor Education Programs

Slate of February events includes snowshoe hikes, tracking and forest-bathing

By Beacon Staff
GPS in hand, Charlie Ashton and his sister Isabelle Ashton, left, lead their group to the next waypoint on a geocaching expedition through Lone Pine State Park in Kalispell as part of the park’s Jr. Ranger Days program on June 27, 2019. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Lone Pine State Park in Kalispell is hosting a series of outdoor education programs in February, including snowshoe hikes, an introduction to “forest bathing” and an animal-track identification course. 

Registration may be required depending on the program, and anyone interested should call the visitor center at (406) 755-2706, ext. 0, to register. Programs cost $4 per person for ages 13 and over, unless otherwise posted ($8 out-of-state vehicle fee applies to all programs). 

Lone Pine State Park is located 5 miles southwest of Kalispell and offers views of the valley, 7.5 miles of trails and an interpretive center with information on living in a wildlife-urban interface. Additional amenities include a picnic shelter and a community room, which are both available to rent, as well as a volleyball court, horseshoe pit and an archery range. Lone Pine offers a variety of educational and interpretive programs throughout the year.

For more information, visit https://fwp.mt.gov/stateparks/lone-pine or call (406) 755-2706. The visitor center is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Snowshoe Discovery Hike

Saturday, February 12, 2022 – 3-5 p.m.

Try out snowshoeing for the first time with this beginner-friendly program. Learn about what gear you need to get out on snowshoes, get help with fit and sizing, and head out on the trails for a winter hike. Dress for the weather in layers and bring water and a snack. The park will provide snowshoes.

Park After Dark Winter Hike

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 – 7:30-9 p.m.

Experience Lone Pine on a wintery night on this full moon hike. Moon views vary depending on cloud cover, but you’re guaranteed a nighttime adventure that experiences the park after hours. Be sure to dress for the weather. Trails are typically icy at this time of year, so wear micro spikes like Yaktrax if there’s snow on the ground. We’ll have snowshoes available if needed. Please bring a flashlight or headlamp.

 Forest Bathing Session with Ellen Horowitz

Saturday, February 26, 2022 – 12:30-2 p.m.

Experience nature in a new way with a forest bathing walk led by certified forest therapy guide Ellen Horowitz. Forest bathing is a practice of going outdoors and opening all your senses to soak and immerse yourself in the atmosphere. The entire walk is 1.5 hours in duration and often covers no more than a quarter mile distance.

For more than four decades, Ellen Horowitz has connected people to nature through her work as a naturalist, hiking guide, field instructor, writer and Certified Forest Therapy Guide. 

Winter Tracking Hike

Sunday, February 27, 2022 – 3-5 p.m.

On this two-hour hike, learn a bit about the basics of tracking animals in winter. Take a walk through Lone Pine and look for tracks in the snow. Learn to identify different common prints from Northwest Montana forest residents. You’ll also explore what to look for besides footprints to tell you what critters have passed through the forest ahead of you.