Created in 1893, Valley County, a part of Montana’s Missouri River Country, borders Canada to the North and Fort Peck Lake to the south. It is home to scores of lucrative agricultural land a former Air Force Base which gave way to the village of St. Marie.
The Recreation areas around Fort Peck Lake are the largest draws for tourists to the county. These are well maintained by the Forest Service and offer camping, fishing, and hiking when in season. In particular, anglers visit the area seeking walleye trout, often during the annual fishing competition at Fort Peck.
In Glasgow, the county seat, you’ll find plenty of shopping, restaurants, and most of the county’s commerce. Though it’s a small town, you’ll have some sublime choices for accommodations including slick, business-travel types, classic road-tripper motels, and meticulously designed hotels.
Visit the Valley County Government website.
Annual Events in Valley County, Montana
Home to an extremely athletic population, Valley County hosts many adrenaline-pumping events throughout the year that get its residents outdoors.
This 10K bike race and 5K and 1-mile run and walk is a beloved annual Valley County tradition. Held in Kiwanis Park in Fort Peck, the diversity of events makes room for people of many different abilities.
The biggest fishing competition in Northeast Montana, the Governor’s Cup Walleye Tournament pits teams of two against each other to catch the biggest and most walleye on Fort Peck Lake. If you want to participate, you have to register your team in advance and pay a hefty fee, but there are several opportunities to make your money back despite the stiff competition.
August – Northeast Montana Fair & Rodeo
Not just a Valley County fair, the Northeast Montana Fair & Rodeo is one of the biggest events in all of Missouri River Country over the entire summer. Over the course of a long weekend, the fair hosts a live concert series, 4-H exhibitions, a demolition derby, and a rodeo.
December – Glasgow Christmas Stroll
Beginning with a Christmas-themed matinee at the local cinema, Glasgow’s annual holiday season kick-off party also includes visits from Santa, hayrides, the tree lighting ceremony, and of course, the Parade of Lights.
December – Middle of Nowhere Polar Plunge
If you’re up to the challenge, you can join Valley County residents for their annual Middle of Nowhere Polar Plunge. This freezing dip into the Missouri River benefits the Special Olympics of Montana.
Attractions in Valley County, Montana
The best spots in Valley County celebrate the region’s unique culture and history and are steeped in pride for all things local.
Fort Peck Lake
Created after the construction of the Fort Peck Dam on the Missouri River, Fort Peck Lake forms much of Valley County’s southern border. There are several parks, fishing access sites, and campgrounds along its shores that you can visit including the Duck Creek Recreation Area and the Pines Recreation Area and campground.
Fort Peck Interpretive Center
Housing a mix of paleontological and wildlife displays, The Fort Peck Interpretive Center serves as a small natural history museum. This is a great place to start if you’re doing the Montana Dinosaur Trail or just want to know more about the biological history of this part of the world.
Valley County Pioneer Museum
Since 1970, the Valley County Pioneer Museum has been preserving the history of the region. Their collection includes documents and photos, everyday items, and a few restored large-scale pieces like an antique saloon they have lovingly reassembled inside their facility.
Children’s Museum of Northeast Montana
Staffed mostly by volunteers, the Children’s Museum of Northeast Montana has several exciting interactive exhibits for kids that explore science, culture, and the arts. They have open admission hours Monday through Saturday, and can also host birthday parties and large groups if arranged in advance.
Busted Knuckle Brewery
Valley County’s favorite taphouse, Busted Knuckle Brewery creates both year-round favorites and several seasonal and sometimes experimental offerings. They keep also keep a hard seltzer on draft with a rotating flavor, as well as their own take on root beer and cream soda that are completely alcohol-free.
Red Barn Gifts
An eclectic home goods and gift shop, Red Barn Gifts carries toys, clothes, and tons of unexpected items. They have a vast selection – far larger than you may expect of a small town like Glasgow – so don’t be surprised if you find an item or two that you can’t live without.