Bainville, Montana

The town of Bainville is a small northeastern Montana community located in Roosevelt County. The tiny town with a population way below 500 is around eight miles from the North Dakota border on Highway 2, and it is the first place of any size you are likely to encounter as you travel west along the highway into the Hi-Line Corridor region of the county.

The name of the town apparently originated with its former postmaster Charles Bain when the post office was first opened in 1904. The town has various historic elements which attract visitors such as the Pioneers Pride Museum and the nearby Fort Union Trading Post.

Guide to Bainville, Montana

main attractions in bainville
Image: Jasperdo

Main Cultural, Historic, and Outdoor Attractions in Bainville

The Pioneers Pride Museum is located on Main Street in Bainville and features rooms furnished just as they would have been over 100 years ago.

An old jail and a 1929 fire truck add to the attraction as well as a pioneer-period bedroom, kitchen, and music room. The museum is open during the summer months from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Tuesdays through Sundays from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm—admission is free.

To the southeast of Bainville is Fort Union Trading Post, a National Historic Site. The original fort came together in 1828 by way of the American Fur Company as more fur traders moved in and around the area. Like many other Montana forts of that time it was part military, part commerce, and part social, and it lasted for around forty years.

It was all gone with the final demise of the fur trade and Indian Settlements being agreed upon towards the latter half of the 1800s.

Recreation Activities

recreation activities
Image: J. Stephen Conn

Aside from the fairly rustic local offerings in terms of outdoor recreation, not too far away from Bainville just beyond Williston and the boundary line is the outdoor haven that is the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers.

This also happens to be at the tip of Lake Sakakawea, a man-made reservoir offering numerous recreational activities, and it seems Williston is a popular jumping-off point for anyone who loves the outdoors–especially the water-based variety.

Hiking, biking, and bird watching are also typically seen around the area and there are literally hundreds of bird species in the grasslands, parks, and wildlife areas around Williston, which are all protected you’re sure to spot some spectacular wings.

As it turns out Lake Sakakawea is the state’s largest reservoir on this side of the Montana borderline. In all the lake stretches an incredible 180 miles through the central and western regions of North Dakota.

This means an even more impressive shoreline of more than 1,500 miles of shoreline! So if that sounds like your thing it may well be worth a trip further out.

  • Water Activities: The huge body of water has plentiful points of easy access for anyone wanting to get to the water depending on direction. Boating, canoeing, and kayaking are all popular pastimes for many people who come to the lake, as is swimming and of course, fishing for trout, bass, walleye, pike, and perch which are reportedly plentiful.
  • Camping and RVs:  Whether you prefer tent camping or the relative luxury of an RV, it’s a picturesque place to stay, with several access points for boating and a well-maintained trail system. Culbertson RV Park is one of the closest to the small town of Bainville—just along the road in nearby Culbertson.  The camp is quiet and values its’ family-friendly tag.

The Montana River Ranch

montana river ranch
Image: Ken Lund

The Montana River Ranch is one of the main attractions in the town when it comes to both accommodations, the lifestyle of the area, and a gateway to some of the recreation opportunities on offer in this area.

Here you’ll find a beautiful log cabin surrounded by cottonwood trees overlooking acres of farmland. The three-story log cabin is an ideal and comfortable way to experience a relaxing and gracious lifestyle.

From the ranch, you get to experience some of the spectacular sunrise and sunsets of the area as well as its abundance of wildlife. The lodge is literally minutes away from the National Historic Site of Fort Union, as well as the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers.

Also from the ranch, you have various hiking trails to choose from, as well as a top-notch golf course as requested and reserved. Fishing can be either from the shore or a boat, with available species like walleye, catfish, northern pike, and goldeneyes in the vicinity–guided hunts are also organized by the ranch.

Accommodations – Hotels and Lodging

As you can probably imagine there isn’t much along the lines of developed hotel accommodation in Bainville.

You’d have to head more in the direction of Williston and beyond to even start to have some of the options you might be looking for in the region. But they aren’t totally out of range of Bainville by any means and some of the examples below are within a range of not usually more than 20-30 miles.

Special Events in Bainville

Activities and other Points of Interest near Bainville

Forests/State/National Parks/Wilderness Areas

Museums/Historic Items

Nearby Towns/Cities

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