Located in the timberlands of Lincoln County, Rexford, MT, is a small town that promises grand adventures through the forested wildernesses of Northwestern Montana.
The small community town was first erected in 1903 along the banks of the Kootenai River. At the time, speculators had purchased the land in hopes of becoming an important station along the soon-to-be-built Great Northern Railway.
However, once construction on the local railway branch began, the speculators quickly realized they had misinterpreted where the railway lines were to run. So, purchasing forty more acres, the new residents relocated their community a mile north of their original foundation to a region that bordered the new tracks.
Rexford has always been a tiny town, but in the early years of the Great Northern Railway, it served as an essential stopping point for locomotives to take on water and for their passengers to rest.
Rexford quickly grew after its establishment along the railway, and the town attracted many loggers to partake in the community’s lucrative new logging industry. Within only a few years, the town had grown to include a general store, a school, a railroad depot, and a church.
However, despite its growth, the town maintained its rugged old west charms for the following decades.
In the 1940s, news came to the quiet preserved community that a new dam was to be built by the U.S. Army Corp north of Libby. The new dam was designed to turn the river valley into a 370-foot-deep reservoir to control the spring floods that had frequently caused substantial and often fatal damages in the region.
The problem with the new dam was that Rexford was located directly in the area the new reservoir was due to flood. And, within only a few decades, the original community of Rexford was buried beneath 370 feet of water.
As a result, in the 1970s, the community moved their town two miles from its original location to where it still stands today, 7-miles from the Canadian Border.
While much of the historical monuments of the original town have been lost to the waters, Rexford continues to offer guests an exciting gateway into the many wonders of Northwestern Montana.
It is a fantastic spot to hike, camp, and explore the state’s rugged landscape and local wildlife.
Main Attractions in Rexford, MT
Located along the banks of the Kootenai River in the outskirts of Eureka, Rexford offers many activities within the larger town, in the waters of the river, and throughout the wilderness of the region’s countryside.
Tobacco Valley Historical Village
Preserving the history of the region’s early settlers, the Tobacco Valley Historical Village explores life in the area between the 1880s and the 1920s.
A must visit-destination when traveling to Rexford, the Tobacco Valley Historical Village features ten historical structures and thousands of artifacts just waiting to be explored.
Many of the artifacts displayed on-site were taken directly from Rexford’s original foundations and were saved before the construction of Libby Dam commenced in the 1960s.
Such iconic buildings featured on the Tobacco Valley Historical Village’s grounds include a preserved general store, library, schoolhouse, church, railway depot, fire tower, hand-hewn house, and two log cabins.
The Kootenai National Forrest
Occupying over 2.2 million acres of pristine wilderness, the Kootenai National Forrest is home to such iconic landmarks as the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway, and the Ten Lakes Scenic Area.
Visitors to the park can engage in hiking, wildlife watching, rock climbing, backcountry camping, and so much more as they explore the untouched corners of Northwestern Montana and Lincoln County.
Indian Springs Ranch
Only 7.5 miles from Rexford is Indian Springs Ranch, a recreational community that supports the Montana lifestyle of reconnecting with the landscape.
Visitors to the ranch will explore the natural beauty of Tobacco Valley, from the spanning prairies and southern flats to the beautiful Rocky Mountains on the horizon.
Indian Springs Ranch invites guests to experience all the wonders of Northwestern Montana’s countryside through various activities that include a round of golf, boating, swimming, or simply enjoying a quiet meal or drink on one of the many outdoor patios.
One of the most enticing elements that draw tourists to Rexford is the surrounding beauty of Northwestern Montana’s natural landscapes.
From rugged mountains to crackling creeks, the countryside of Lincoln County offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to experience the state’s wild side firsthand.
With the 2.2-million-acre Kootenai National Forest located nearby, there is a seemingly limitless number of hiking opportunities to be uncovered in the regions surrounding Rexford, MT.
The Little Hoodoo Trail is one of the best paths for exploring the region directly surrounding Rexford. Starting by the lake just outside the town, the trail winds its way through a dense collection of trees and offers fantastic views of Lake Koocanusa and the impressive sandstone formations locally known as The Hoodoos.
Another great hiking path that promises excellent countryside views is the Stahl Creek Trail. This 7-mile out and back trail is a moderately challenging route, but the rewards are worth the approximate 3 hours and 50 minutes it takes to complete.
The trail leads hikers along the steep and rocky cliffs to Stahl Peak, where they receive some of the best views of Therriault Pass and Gibraltar Ridge.
One of the best ways to explore Northwestern Montana’s countryside is by enjoying the great outdoors at your own camping site.
Located on the western edge of Lake Koocanusa, Barron Creek Campground offers seven camping sites for guests. The open campground area features three sites, a fire ring, vault toilets, and can accommodate up to a 40′ RV.
The campground also features four spots in its boat dock parking area and is supplied with vault toilets and a boat ramp for enjoying the many beauties of Lake Koocanusa.
Alternatively, visitors can book their campsite at the Big Therriault Campgrounds. Located directly in Kootenai National Forest, the campground’s 4 acres of land offer easy access to the park’s many hiking trails and are only a one-mile walk from the Ten Lakes Scenic Area.
The campground sites are serviced with vault toilets, food storage boxes, and portable water/hand pumps.
Several fishing sites scattered around Rexford are perfect for catching a variety of local species indigenous to Montana.
The nearby Tobacco River in the Fall is an excellent spot for catching Rainbow and Kokanee Salmon. Meanwhile, Lake Koocanusa is the premier spot in the region for Kokanee Salmon.
However, one of the best spots around Rexford for catching a variety of fish is directly in the Kootenai River. The river is home to such indigenous species as Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout, Brown Trout, and even Cutthroat Trout, the official State Fish of Montana.
To enjoy a relaxing day on the greens, visitors to Rexford should head over to the Indian Spring Ranch’s 18-hole links-style championship Montana gold course.
The course is designed to fit the natural flow of the landscape and offers a challenging experience for golfers of all levels.
Greens and fairways cut through the prairie grass of the region’s countryside, while rolling hills, flowing creeks, and bench lands wind their way throughout the property.
With a population of only 58 residences as of the 2020 census, Rexford, Mt, is so small that it doesn’t even have a single accommodation option for guests. Luckily, Eureka is located only 7 miles away.
Featuring a much more diverse accommodation selection, the slightly larger town is the perfect place to base when visiting the region’s many historical attractions.
The following are some of the best accommodation options in Eureka and other areas surrounding Rexford.
- Riverstone Family Lodge
- Homestead Cabin Resort
- Wilderness Club Resort
- Indian Springs Ranch
- Eda Ranch
- Tobacco River Ranch
While the Abayance Bay Marina is known to hold a wide selection of specialty shows, the town of Rexford does not celebrate any annual festivals. Instead, the residents partake in the greater county fairs held in other towns scattered throughout Lincoln County.
The following are some of the best events held in the Tobacco Valley region that the community of Rexford will often be featured in.
- June– Libby Logger Days– Libby, MT
- July– Troy Old Fashioned Fourth of July– Troy, MT
- August– Eureka Quilt Show– Eureka, MT
- August– Ignite the Nights Car Show– Libby, MT
- August– Lincoln County Fair– Eureka, MT
- September– Libby Nordic Fest Heritage Festival– Libby, MT