Your old walking spot starting to ruffle your feathers? Don't fret -- we know a place that will bring out the bird dog in any pooch! The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge in Stevensville, Montana is a picturesque bird sanctuary with a trail that's sure to get your pup's heart pumping! Eighty percent of Montana's bird population uses this refuge as their nesting grounds, but those aren't the only critters you will find! The preserve also has a large number of antelope, porcupines, yellow-pine chipmunks, moose, and deer. There is also a thriving population of flora as well, with over 140 different species of native plants. Talk about a fascinating assortment of scents!
The 2.2-mile nature trail is split into three parts, two of which are 0.9-mile and 0.7-mile natural surface paths. The third section is a half-mile, wheelchair-accessible paved trail that leads from the parking lot to the picnic area and offers an accessible platform for wildlife watching and fishing. This area also features an information kiosk, restrooms, and benches. The dirt paths wind through beautiful Bitterroot Valley, rolling past a river of the same name as well as several creeks and ponds. Snow-capped mountains create the pawfect border for this postcard landscape. With scenery like this, it is no wonder that the refuge draws over 150,000 visitors yearly! Consider getting an early start if you want to avoid paw traffic on the trails.
You will need to bring the leash and poo bags for this adventure. Taking "souvenirs" like feathers, antlers, plants, etc., is strictly prohibited. Remember -- take only pictures and leave behind only paw prints! Hunting in accordance with state laws is allowed in the preserve; keep this in mind during your walk and dress your pack in bright colors during open season. With ADA-accessible amenities, fishing and hunting opportunities, miles of trails, and wildlife galore, there is guaranteed to be something for every pack member!