Located in Montana, Wild Horse Island is a tourist attraction and nature-lovers’ paradise. It’s situated near the largest island in Flathead Lake. Flathead Lake is also the largest freshwater lake in the region. As the name implies, Wild Horse Island is home to wild horses. For centuries, the 2,100-acre island was used by the Salish-Kootenai to pasture horses.
The Wild Horse Island has been a protected state park since 1978. The main attraction is, of course, the majestic beasts but the place itself contains hidden spots to explore. The island is managed by the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. So what other fantastic sights and attractions you can expect in and around Wild Horse Island? Check out below:
Big Arm Bay
Big Arm Bay is just a few kilometers from the Wild Horse Island. It features an array of wildlife, including mule deer, bighorn sheep, waterfowl at least three wild horses and bald eagles! Access to the bay is limited to a boat ride, but it’s worth the trip if you love being close to nature. The bay lies within the Flathead Indian Reservation and Lake County.
Nature Trails and Exploration
Are you up for a challenge? If you love to explore the great outdoors then follow the beaten path. It will lead to endangered plant species, indigenous flowers, miles of shoreline and colorful species of birds! Hikers and boaters are always welcome to uncover hidden gems within the woods.
There are also great spots for picnics and nature trails; you will see most of them during the boat tour. If you love hiking, you can travel on foot to the top from the west to east of the island in about 3 hours. Keep your eyes peeled when you’re hiking, you just might spot a mule deer and bighorn sheep.
Beaches and Water Sports
Do you love frolicking on the beach or boating? We recommend going to Palouse Prairie grasslands. It’s a great place for swimming, kayaking, sail boating or sun worshipping! Let your hair down and take on a leisurely stay at the grassland’s fabulous beach spots.
Hockaday Museum of Art
If you want to know more about local history, geology or you want to check out the local art scene, we recommend heading to the Hockaday Museum of Art. This museum if filled with artworks inspired by Montana’s stunning landscapes.
The Lake Tour
If you have plenty of time to spend in the afternoon, why not go for an entertaining lake tour in the Polson area? The tour takes four hours to complete. Your guide will take you to the Wild Horse Island as well as neighboring attractions. This is a great tour especially if you have kids. You’re bound to get up close and personal to Montana’s diverse wildlife!
One thing to note when visiting the island is that preservation is taken very seriously. Strict guidelines are in place to preserve the natural beauty of the region. This means day-use is allowed and nothing else. Visitors are expected to clean after themselves and not disturb the wildlife.