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

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Fort Fizzle Picnic Area

Healthy Stream, Better Birding

Here you can see how stream restoration provides outstanding songbird and trout habitat.

Fort Fizzle Picnic Area Site Map

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Field Notes

Look for warblers at every level in this multi-storied forest canopy along Lolo Creek. Trout idle in deep pools. Belted kingfishers plunge into the water from tree perches. White-tailed deer splash across the creek. Long-toed salamander larvae swim in backwater pools.

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Habitat Link

See restoration results where forest biologists deepened pools, built up the banks, and planted willows to help return the creek to its natural channel. The shrubs and overhanging trees shade the creek for cool, trout-friendly waters and provide excellent warbler habitat.

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Cultural Link

Named Fort Fizzle for the failed attempt of the US military to stop the Nez Perce as the tribe fled their homelands to avoid warfare in 1877. Here, soldiers built a barricade, but the Nez Perce simply detoured above them on a ridge. Read a series of historical signs at the picnic area to learn more.

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Viewing Tip

Walk about 100 yards on a paved, accessible trail to the creek to leave the sound of highway traffic and find excellent birdwatching.

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Helpful Hint

Summer interpretive programs are held here regularly. Contact the Ranger District for information.

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Getting There

From Lolo Pass: Fort Fizzle is 11 miles past Lolo Creek Campground on the right.
From Lolo: Take Highway 12 for 4.5 miles, turn left.

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Contact

Lolo National Forest, Missoula Ranger District, Fort Missoula Bldg. 24, Missoula MT 59804; (406) 329-3750

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Site Information

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