While it may seem like not much more than a speck on a map, Lincoln, Montana is home to far more than you may think. With pitch-perfect examples of classic Montanan diners and world-class art exhibits, it’s a wonder it all fits within Lincoln’s modest borders.
Lincoln embodies the classic Montana culture to a tee: a Western Cowboy mentality permeates the culture, and a sincere reverence and respect for the outdoors drives many aspects of life.
A visit to Lincoln is much more than the sum of its parts: here you’ll be privy to a side of Montana that has waned from its larger cities, though you’ll find it alive and well in Lincoln.
4 Best Things To Do In Lincoln, Montana
1. Brand Bar Museum
Just a half-hour west of Lincoln in the tiny municipality of Ovando is the Brand Bar Museum. Inside you’ll find memorabilia and displays that relate to the history of the area. It’s a tiny but mighty museum housed in a former saloon that dates to 1897, and it’s on a beautiful plot of land: the caretakers suggest bringing a picnic to enjoy on the grounds.
If there’s no one attending the museum when you arrive, just swing by the Blackfoot Angler or the Blackfoot Commercial Company across the street, and someone there can unlock the door for you.
2. Upper Blackfoot Historical Society Museum
Set on four acres of land directly behind the Hi-Country Trading Post, the Upper Blackfoot Historical Society Museum holds the history of the region in a mix of objects, and even the cabins themselves that part of the collection is housed in. A portion of the collection lies outside the cabins: these are the larger items like tools and machinery once used for logging and mining. Inside you’ll find smaller items like photographs and documents that relate important information about the area.
3. Visit a Classic Montana Dinner
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This Lincoln institution combines a lively local bar with a true down-home restaurant where you can bring the whole family. In addition to serving local brews and quality pub-fare, they host live music, motorcycle and car rallies, and even the occasional fundraiser.
In some ways, this is the heart and soul of Lincoln, Montana, and a visit to town without at least stopping by for one cold pint would mean missing a significant part of the local culture.
Wheel Inn Tavern
Way more than a simple tavern, this is the type of place you might end up stopping for a bite and staying the whole evening. As you might think of a pub in a town like Lincoln, this place has an authentic small-town vibe, though the food is legitimately incredible. Locals believe the Wheel Inn’s fried chicken is the best in Western Montana.
If you think a steakhouse sounds far too slick to be tucked away on a highway in Western Montana, then you’ll be delighted to find out that the Montanan Steakhouse has great food with none of the pretenses. This is a place where you can get a high-quality meal in a come-as-you-are environment.
4. Browse a Trading Post
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Carrying furs, leather goods, and antiques, this retail and taxidermy shop has an incredible selection of unique, often handmade goods. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, they do custom work as well so don’t be afraid to ask.
If you can imagine an old-timey trading post was modernized for the present day, that’s exactly what you’ll find here. Though it’s homed in a log cabin-type building, inside you’ll find everything from high-tech outdoor gear, to incredible local trail foods and preserves, to beekeeping supplies. Even if you aren’t an experienced outdoorsman – or beekeeper – you’re bound to find something to entice you during your visit.
3 Free Things To Do In Lincoln, Montana
1. Lincoln Skatepark
The in-town Lincoln Skatepark is somewhat unique in Montana, in that it is rare for a town so small to have a facility quite like this. It’s just next door to Hooper Park & Campground, a lovely green space with a gazebo, several picnic tables, and lawns.
2. Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild
A truly incredible community arts project, Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild is part artists’ residency, part sculpture park that aims to provide visitors with thoughtfully made work made from both natural and industrial materials.
The work shown here is commissioned specifically to reflect the specific traditions of the region and stands as a visual depiction of the individual artists’ own interpretations of the cultural heritage of Lincoln and the surroundings.
3. Nature’s Playground
This rustic disc-golf course may not be particularly well maintained, but that’s exactly part of what makes it so challenging, especially if you’re playing in the summer.
This course shares part of the site that Blackfoot Pathways sits on, so you’ll be playing this 45-minute long course in and around legitimate pieces of art.