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

Trails and Maps


Greenough Park

A great place to go birding in the city

This is the best place in Missoula to see an American Dipper and its nest.

Greenough Park Site Map

Field Notes

Check out the cottonwood branches for hanging BullockÁs oriole nests. Scan for the American dipper, which bobs up and down on the rocks in the fast-moving creek. Be sure to look for its nest under the lower footbridge. The thick growth of maple trees beneath the cottonwood may not be native, but they do harbor American Redstarts, Lazuli Buntings, and yellow Warblers. In the holes that dot the old dead and dying cottonwoods, you just might see a pileated woodpecker, northern flicker, or western screech-owl peeking out.

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This well loved, 42-acre city park runs on both sides of Rattlesnake Creek and is nestled within the lower Rattlesnake neighborhood. The canopy is a mix of mostly older cottonwoods, young maple, ponderosa pine, and Douglas fir. The understory is packed with berry-producing shrubs such as elderberry, mountain ash, and snowberry. You will notice two restoration projects in the park. TheyÁre removing non-native Norway maple from the understory to encourage cottonwood regeneration. TheyÁve also rerouted trails and planted willows to help stabilize the banks of an old, side channel of Rattlesnake Creek that flooded after a huge spring runoff in 1997.

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Cultural Link

This city park has an impressive interpretive birding trail named after Arnold Bolle, a famous conservationist and former University of Montana professor. Arnold Bolle spent countless hours birding the trails within the park. Because of the forethought of the Greenough family, who donated the property in 1905 to the city, the park must be maintained in its natural state. They asked that Ťthe land forever be used as a park and for park purposes to which the people of Missoula may during the heated days of summer, the beautiful days of autumn, and the balmy days of spring find a comfortable, romantic and poetic retreat.Ó

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Viewing Tip

ake a leisurely walk along the paved and unpaved one-mile trail that loops around the park. Footbridges at each end of the trail provide visitors with views up and down the river. Along the trail, be sure to read the interpretive signs about birdwatching in Greenough Park.

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Helpful Hint

Accessible all year round. In early spring, you may find butterflies such as mourning cloaks and satyr anglewing out on a sunny day because both butterflies overwinter as adults. Greenough is well used by walkers, runners and dog walkers.

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Getting There

To reach the park parking lot from Van Buren St/Rattlesnake Drive side, turn west onto Locust and go one block north on Monroe Street.

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Missoula Parks & Recreation
100 Hickory Street
Missoula, MT 59801

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parking, restrooms, picnic area, walking, biking

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Species of Note

  • Wood duck
  • America kestrel
  • Western screech-owl
  • VauxÁs swift
  • Pileated woodpecker
  • American dipper
  • American redstart
  • BullockÁs oriole
  • Black bear
  • Satyr anglewing butterfly
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