Many visitors to Billings in Montana come for the various recreation options. There is no shortage of different ways to explore both the downtown regions and the amazing surrounding landscapes of the city, whether on foot, by bike, or even on horseback.
A unique way to experience Billings is through Montana Segway Tours, which we will take a closer look at in this article:
Montana Segway Tours – What You Need to Know
What many people may not have considered as a local tour option is a Segway. As in the two-wheeled variety provided by local Billings company Montana Segway, that is. If you’ve never tried or even heard of a Segway before, it might just put a different slant on the way you view getting around and exploring new territory.
The Segway is a rather versatile, two-wheeled, P.T. (personal transporter) which you have to balance by yourself. It has actually been around for a couple of decades and is used by everyone from tourists to policemen in some cities.
The folks behind Montana Segway saw a gap in the market between Billings’ impressive and rugged surrounding natural beauty and this ingenious yet still little-used transportation device. So why not check out what’s going on in and around Billings on a Segway?
These versatile vehicles can manage a variety of different terrains including those leading up to the scenic views of the city from the rims, or along the vicinity of the river.
Tours sizes vary and include a guide and experienced staff who will carefully demonstrate and inform you on how it is done before you get going.
Montana Segway Tours Stats
- 4 tour routes/locations
- 2-5 people per tour
- Minimum age 14
- Training included
Once you’ve decided that a Segway tour might be just up your street (or someone else’s) you just need to go through a few formalities other than meeting the age requirement of 14. Visitors should also keep in mind that anyone under the age of 18 will ideally be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
All the tours include the supply of equipment namely a helmet and the vehicle itself, along with a headlamp for later tours when dusk is drawing in. Water supplies are on hand and there is a guide who is well-experienced with the Segway and local to the area.
The route will usually first take you along a paved, easy-to-drive-on path, whilst the guide sets about informing you on some of the areas you will travel through. If you aren’t that confident, to begin with, the guide will monitor your driving ability initially until you look like you’ve got the hang of it.
Segways are actually one of the easiest things most people will ever try to drive though, and the majority of tour participants get to grips with them with no issue. You can see from the look on the faces of the participants in any tour just what fun these handy little vehicles can be!
Montana Segway offers four different tours of the Billings locale. They feature well-known regions and local landmarks as per the following:
The Black Otter Tour
This is a scenic route that starts out on Billings’ Main Street from the spot next to Applebee’s Restaurant. From there the group heads up to the local Black Otter Trail and along the rims in the direction of the airport.
The Josephine Crossing Tour
This route is covered on a new Segway model the X2 which features wheels with slightly bigger and more durable ATV-style tires.
That gives some clue as to what you can expect along this route, which sets off from the Josephine Crossing region of Billings in the town’s Preston Park.
The tour heads along the vicinity of the Yellowstone River past local attraction Norm’s Island and winding up at Riverfront Park.
The Shiloh Adventure
This route starts out from the Zoo Montana parking lot location on Shiloh Road in Billings. This is a fairly steady and consistent ride that takes Segwayers through a reclamation area of the local wetlands along a wide-ish trail.
This tour covers a route in north-eastern Billings along mainly asphalt and concrete. It starts out from the Oasis Water Park, and guests on the tour get to enjoy the scenery and the ride while the guide happily snaps any particular photos anyone would like to capture.
Riders are not encouraged to take their own photos during the tour for reasons of safety.
The Alkali Creek Trail is a highly scenic tour and it follows a loop shape around Hilltop Subdivision. At the bottom end of the route, it intersects with another popular trail in the area known as the Swords Park Trail.
Getting set for the Tour and what’s on Offer
The introductory instruction is usually enough to instill confidence in even the most cautious participants who have never even heard of a Segway before.
These machines are designed in a way that minimizes any potential mishaps though, and safety equipment is part of the deal anyway.
In fact, the first port of call on any tour is the safety video viewing and helmet fitting. After that, each member of the group gets individual training related to the operation of the Segway.
Basically, you learn how to start, stop, and control the Segway PT at all times. You’ll also get plenty of time to practice before setting off on anything too adventurous.
You will get a bottle of water and any additional necessary equipment such as headlamps. Secure lockers are on hand for belongings to be stashed and bathroom facilities are also available.
Each tour lasts about 2-3 hours. Start times vary, and can be adjusted to fit your schedule, and all tours start from different locations. Visitors are expected to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to their booked slot.
Considerations and Pricing
Group sizes on the regular tours are usually limited to a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5.
This is primarily for reasons of safety although larger groups of up to 10 can also be accommodated with more advanced notice and booking.
You can check the tour day and date availability on the calendar before booking, and the normal hours of operation are between 9.00 am and 8.00 pm daily.
Maybe you already live locally or you have Montana down as one of your planned travel destinations, you might find a Segway tour adds a touch of leisurely adventure and recreation to at least a half-day of your visit.