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Montana Birding and Nature Trail
Discover the Nature of Montana...

Trails and Maps


Tower Street Open Space Park

A wildlife sanctuary tucked in the city

A wildlife sanctuary tucked in the city Clark Fork River harbors water birds, beaver, river otters and more.

Tower Street Open Space Park Site Map

Field Notes

From the bank of the Clark Fork River, you can see into the islands and thickets that attract both forest and water birds. Osprey, Red-tailed Hawks and Great Horned Owls nest nearby. Great Blue Herons and river otters hunt for fish in the river. Common Mergansers swim by. Bank Swallows build nests in the sandy banks. At the edges of the willows, you can hear the meow of Gray Catbirds.

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In 2001, the City of Missoula purchased about 80 acres along the Clark Fork River at the north end of Tower Street. The land protects a critical piece of the Clark Fork River corridor, which is lush with cottonwoods, aspens and willows, which supports extensive wildlife habitat. The Clark Fork river corridor is a cornerstone to Missoula's open space program. In addition, it provides public river access and supports a trail system that might eventually link downtown with Kelly Island.

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Cultural Link

Even though Missoula is surrounded by mountains, the residents and visitors to the city enjoy nearby open space parks. The Tower Street Park is one of the links on the chain of riverside open space sites along the Clark Fork River. If you wanted to see them all, you could start from the east side of Missoula at Hellgate Canyon and the Kim Williams Trail, then go west to the Riverfront Trail and on to Tower Park to 7th Street park and finally to Kelly Island Fishing Access Site where the Bitterroot River meets the Clark Fork.

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Viewing Tip

Spring and summer are the best times to visit the park to see migratory birds. In winter, look for large flocks of Bohemian Waxwings

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Helpful Hint

There's a network of trails to choose from starting at the small parking area.

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Getting There

From Reserve St, turn west on 3rd Street 2 miles and turn north onto Tower Street. You find a small parking area at the end of Tower Street.

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Missoula Parks & Recreation
100 Hickory Street
Missoula, MT 59801

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parking, walking, fishing

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Species of Note

  • Great Blue Heron
  • Osprey
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Western Wood-Pewee
  • Willow Flycatcher
  • Cassin's Vireo
  • Red-eyed Vireo
  • Yellow Warbler
  • MacGillivray's Warbler
  • Beaver
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Site Information


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