Winter in the Headwaters is a time to slow down, take a deep breath, and relish the quiet of the season. That stillness, and a break from summer’s hustle and bustle, makes for the perfect opportunity to delve into the history of the region. From early Native American tribes living in the savage landscape, to the intensity of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and on to the days of the settlers, there is plenty to discover.
Make an Appointment at the Headwaters Heritage Museum
Even though the Headwaters Heritage Museum closes its doors as the season dies down in September, you can still make an appointment during the off season to peruse the collection. You’ll find elements of Lewis and Clark, early tribes, fur traders, and everything up to the recent past. You can enjoy the extensive photo collection at your leisure, with plenty to learn and browse through on a winter’s day.
Plan a Snowy Visit to a State Park
With three state parks within a 30-minute drive from Three Forks, you can load up on a historical perspective when you spend a little winter time in the park. Missouri Headwaters State Park marks the historically significant moment in the Lewis and Clark Expedition when they had to choose their course onward to the pacific, and you’ll find plenty of interpretive signs to guide you through that moment in history. At Madison Buffalo Jump, make the short walk to the interpretive pavilion, and learn about the unique way of hunting that the Native American tribes used to bring down buffalo. And at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, though the history-filled caverns are closed most of the winter, you can still walk in Lewis and Clark’s footsteps while you take a winter stroll through the park.
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Read up by the Fireside
Grab a biography or history of the area, and cozy up by the fire while winter does its thing outside. You can learn a thing or two just by looking around the lobby at the Sacajawea, where local history is in each board and beam. It also doesn’t hurt to be near the knowledgeable and accommodating front desk staff, and just a few steps away from a delicious drink at the bar.
Strike up a Conversation with a Local
You never know just who you’ll meet in a quaint Montana town like Three Forks. Strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you in the bar, and learn their story. They may not be a descendant of Sacajawea herself and willing to offer to show you family photographs, but you’re bound to learn something interesting about the area.
Enjoy Experiences That Remain Constant
Some things haven’t changed in Montana over the centuries. Whether you explore the quiet of the mountains on snowshoe or try your hand at ice fishing, you can capture a sense of what the past was like even centuries ago. If warmth in winter is your priority, head to Norris Hot Springs. While the site has seen many updates throughout the years, a soak in the traditional wood-lined natural hot springs will take you back to a different era.
If you enjoyed this blog, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- How To Plan For An Unforgettable Winter Vacation To The Headwaters
- Soak It All Up At Norris Hot Springs
- Sacajawea Hotel History
- Where To Go Skiing Around Three Forks