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

Trails and Maps

   

Centennial Grove Nature Trail

Peaceful Walk on Skalkaho Creek

A chance to spend time on the east side of the valley

Walk along a creek that supports native trout and a wealth of songbirds in the riparian area.

Centennial Grove Nature Trail

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Field Notes

Scan the open grasslands, forests and cliffs north of Skalkaho Road for bighorn sheep - year-round residents here. Along the creek, watch for claw marks in the Douglas fir and pines - signs of black bear or mountain lions. Look for moose tracks. Keep alert for elk and deer in this area as well. See if you can find signs of the 2000 fires across the stream.

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Habitat Link

Finding old-growth ponderosa pine next to a creek is a bit of an unusual combination now in the Bitterroot. Here's a chance to look for birds that like big pines (pileated woodpeckers for instance) and warblers, flycatchers and other streamside migrants. The stream itself provides cool, healthy waters for westslope cutthroat trout.

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Cultural Link

Skalkaho is a Salish word meaning beaver. As you drive along the creek, keep an eye out for signs of beaver today.

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Viewing Tip

Walk the half-mile nature loop along Skalkaho Creek, stopping to read signs that identify plants, geologic features and natural history. Watch for birds in the canopy.

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Helpful Hint

The first .1 mile of the half-mile trail is wheelchair accessible. For a longer walk, check out the Bear Gulch Trail, half-mile downstream of Centennial Grove.

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Getting There

Go 2 miles south of Hamilton on Highway 93 to Highway 38 (Skalkaho Road). Continue 12 miles to Centennial Grove Trail, parking area on right.

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Contact

Bitterroot National Forest, Darby Ranger District, 712 N. Main, Darby, MT, 59829; (406) 821-4244

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