Bigfork is situated in Flathead County on the shore of Flathead Lake. As an upscale resort town, this furrific place is not just pretty, it’s also full of art galleries, fine dining, and boutiques. The Bigfork Summer Playhouse adds to the cultural vibe of this town. It’s easy to see why Bigfork has been fondly dubbed as “One of the 100 Best Small Art Towns.” But this mountain village isn’t only an artistic haven; it’s also extremely pet friendly. It even has its own veterinary clinic.
Leash up your pup and head over to Sliter’s Park for a pawsome afternoon walk. This park is conveniently located in the center of town and right next to the Swan River. Stroll around the grassy area or let your pup look for squirrels in the grove of trees. If you have two legged children in tow, stop by the park’s playground. Just across the street is a steel bridge with pedestrian crossing. As you walk across, your pal can get a good look at the river.
When visiting Bigfork, enjoy a taste of the Caribbean at The Raven. With lakefront seating, this restaurant serves up international cuisine and regularly has live music. Your pup can join you on the deck for an evening of island bliss.
If Bigfork isn’t already on your pup’s barket list, it will be now!
For a beautiful walk through a riparian habitat, hop on the Swan River Nature Trail. Your doggo will be delighted to exercise in such a gorgeous setting. The trail provides furrific riverfront scenery, as well as shade from the forest of trees. It’s four miles roundtrip and has benches for pawsing to take in the view. Since horseback riders and cyclists use the trail, keep your pup leashed at all times. After your walk, drop by Sweet Peaks Ice Cream for a delectable frozen treat. Enjoy a scoop or two of artisanal flavors like Pine+Chocolate or Strawberry Rhubarb Sherbet while sitting on the dog friendly patio with your pup.
Aero Lane Park sits on the outskirts of Bigfork in the neighborhood of Ferndale. This minimalistic park is made up of a baseball field and restrooms. If your pup enjoys a ball game every once in a while, head over and watch two teams battle it out. Your pooch can practice socializing with the crowd. During off season, or when the field is clear, your pal is welcome to romp around or sniff their way through the outfield. They’ll love the freedom of the wide open lawn. Just be sure to bring clean up bags and pick up anything your pooch decides to put down.
This neighborhood is home to a couple puptastic parks. Grab the leash and treat your pooch to a walk in the Carlyle Johnson Park. Stretching across 14 acres of land, this park has plenty of room for your pup to explore. When the baseball and soccer fields aren’t in use, your furry friend can traipse around and feel the grass beneath their paws. Potoczny Park is also in the area. With even more open lawn to check out, this park will make your dog’s tail wag. Neither of these parks has running water, so be sure to bring some from home. You don’t want a thirsty pup on your hands!
Dogs living in Bigfork are lucky to have the Wayfarers/ Flathead Lake State Park right in their own backyard. While this park is pupular for launching boats, fishing, and water sports, it also has a nice system of trails that will keep your pup busy. Four different trails wander throughout the forest and provide furrific views of Flathead Lake. Your four legged companion will love sniffing the wildflowers and viewing the lakeside cliffs while getting some much needed exercise. If your doggo is having too much fun and doesn’t want to go home, just stay the night at the park’s campground. Both tent and RV sites are available.
Does your dog love to hike? Then lace up your boots, pack some water and snacks, and make your way over to Bear Dance Trail. The trailhead is located just 10 minutes south of Bigfork in Woods Bay. The trail is just under 14 miles round trip, and can be challenging at times. Rocky patches, steep inclines, and some mud give this hike a moderate rating. But the view at the top is definitely worth it. For a shorter hike, connect with the Crane Creek Trail two miles in. This trail extends another two miles, so your pup will get plenty of exercise.