Hiking in Montana
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of Montana Tourism is getting off the beaten paths and doing some explorations of your own. And, with miles of open land ranging in topography for mountains and valleys to prairies and plains there is much that can be enjoyed-regardless of one’s age. Of course, like any activity, there are a few ground rules that should be kept in mind:
- Avoid any areas like meadows, lakeshores, wetlands, and streams unless they are on a designated route or if you have permission from the landowner to be there. This helps to protect the environment from excess damage.
- Always leave an area better than you found it. Be sure to properly dispose of food items and waste, in addition to avoiding the spread of invasive species, restoring degrade areas and minimizing the use of fire. Remember the maxim: Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures!
- Be prepared! Before the trip take some time to educate yourself about the area by using websites, travel maps, taking recreation classes where you learn how to improve your skills at your chosen activity and by ensuring that your equipment is in good working order.
- Let someone know where you will be. Plan your trek ahead of time and be sure others know where you will be adventuring along with an approximate itinerary. If you will be hiking, climbing, etcetera at a National or state park, check in with the park rangers to let them know you are there.
- Respect the land and the rights of the landowners. While many residents may not mind that you hike, camp, snowmobile….on their property, you still need to have their permission be embarking on your activity.
These are simple rules and ultimately come down to be courteous to the land, animals and people who live here. Whether it is a Montana adventure or any other state, taking the time to follow these rules can make the difference between a good trip and a great adventure!