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Lewistown, Montana

Located in the geographic center of Montana, Lewistown is a great little community with tons of ways to enjoy both the mountains and the plains.

Lewistown is located on the former site of Fort Lewis. This fort was established to protect people traveling on the Carroll train between Carroll, MT, and Helena. The modern city of Lewistown is named after Fort Lewis. The city was established by the Metis people in 1879 and was incorporated as a city in 1899.

The city was a relatively small community until gold was discovered in the Judith Mountains around 1880, and the town became a place for miners to find new employment when the gold ran out.

Today, the city is supported by the oil and gas and agricultural industries.

Visitors to Lewistown will enjoy a host of activities, cultural experiences, and outdoor recreation opportunities that celebrate the town’s western heritage and the place where mountains meet the plains.

Main Attractions

main attractions in lewistown

Lewistown has some fun attractions that will satisfy the curiosities of most visitors to the town.

Downtown Lewistown 

One of the activities that you just can’t miss while in Lewistown is taking a walking tour around the downtown area.

Many of the buildings in this area are listed on the National Historic Register and show the craftsmanship of the Croatian stonemasons that constructed many of the buildings in the early 1900s.

The downtown area has three unique districts that showcase different aspects of the community’s history.

The Silk Stocking District is home to some of the most beautiful homes in the area. These homes were built in the early 1900s when the mining boom made many in the area wealthy. The Central Business District is also full of historic buildings and is where you’ll find many shops and restaurants.

Finally, the Judith Place neighborhood is a great part of town that showcases the life of the middle class living in town during the 1910s and 1920s. The Judith Place historic district has many homes built in the craftsman style and was one of the first planned communities in the west.

Central Montana Museum

The Central Montana Museum is home to many interesting exhibits that tell the history of central Montana, starting in the 1870s.

Some of the most popular exhibits in the museum include the replica of a Torosaurus dinosaur skull, stories of old west characters like Charles M. Russell and Calamity Jane, and information on how the Homestead Act shaped the lives of people living in central Montana.

Lewistown Art Center

The Lewistown Art Center is more than just an art museum. Sure, you’ll find exhibits to wander through. Rotating exhibits feature local artists, high school student art, and cultural exhibits featuring items that showcase the art and culture of Native Americans of the area.

In addition to the exhibits, the Lewistown Art Center is also a place where you can experience hands-on learning in different types of fine art.

Frank Day Park 

One of the most popular places in town to enjoy the outdoors is Frank Day Park. Located along Big Spring Creek, this park is a great place to hop on the Lewistown City Trail that loops around the whole community.

This nice, paved trail is perfect for walking and bike riding. The park is also home to the Lewistown swimming pool, ice rink, and the Community Labyrinth Garden, which is a popular place to walk and enjoy some peace and serenity.

Recreation Activities

recreation activities in lewistown

There are plenty of ways to get outside and enjoy recreating around Lewistown. The city is located at the junction of the plains and four mountain ranges that surround the town. This setting makes Lewistown an ideal spot for all sorts of recreational activities.

Fishing 

With Big Springs Creek running through town, it’s easy to see why fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Lewistown. Many people enjoy fly fishing this creek from various parks around town. Big Springs Creek is perfect for wading so make sure that you include a pair of waders with your equipment rentals.

Ice fishing is a popular winter pastime for many people in the Lewistown area. Check out Ackley Lake State Park for great ice fishing, as well as nice summertime lake fishing.

Don’t forget to check out the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks website for information on fishing rules and regulations before you head out. You can also buy your Montana fishing license on their website.

Camping

There are plenty of places to pitch a tent or park your RV around Lewistown. Places like Ackley Lake State Park and Crystal Lake are great spots for camping that aren’t too far from the town.

These camping areas also provide access to hiking trails, fishing lakes, and winter activities like snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

Hunting

Big game and waterfowl hunting are also really popular recreational activities around Lewistown. With plenty of small lakes and public lands that allow hunting for game birds, Lewistown is an ideal spot for bird hunting enthusiasts.

If you’re looking for something bigger, there are a number of hunting outfitters in Lewistown that can show you some of the best places to hunt big game like deer, elk, and antelope.

The convergence of mountains and prairies makes the Lewistown area perfect for hunting these large game species.

Before you head out with your outfitter or local hunting guide, make sure that you’ve brushed up on Montana hunting regulations and have applied for your Montana hunting license.

Check out the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks website for all of the information you need about hunting in Montana.

Accommodations

If camping isn’t your thing, and you’re looking for nice lodging in Lewistown, you’re in luck. The town has some nice lodging options ranging from chain hotels to locally owned motels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals.

Special Events

Lewistown has plenty of fun events for visitors to check out. You’ll find a variety of events throughout the year, including food-related festivals, agricultural fairs, and cultural festivals that celebrate the history of the community.

Activities Near Lewistown

Recreation Activities

National Parks and Forests

County and State Parks

Museums and Monuments

Scenic Drives

  • Charles M. Russell Trail – Highway 87

Performing Arts

 

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