SigMT Vol12 Iss 2

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Fun facts: • 5 dams, 4 waterfalls • 4,600 acres • 25+ miles of trails • Waterfowl hunting is allowed each fall. • e park's Roe River, 201' long, made the Guinness Book of World Records as world's shortest river. • is is Montana's most visited state park (nearly 500,000 people/year). ings to do: • Look for a rainbow over Rainbow Dam. When the light and mist are just right, nature shows its full spectrum of colors. • Search for 200 species of birds. You just may find a great horned owl or rare songbird. • Cast your line into the spring-fed pond off Giant Springs Loop trail, or venture toward Black Eagle Island or Morony Dam for a quieter experience. • Bring your dog (on a leash), family, and friends—plus a picnic lunch. GREAT FALLS, MONTANA SiG MT 12 URBAN AFFAIRS Neighborhoods Giant Springs State Park: A Geological & Historical Wonder S MT On a typical spring day, neon-clad bicyclists twist down the road to Giant Springs State Park, while couples recline atop the grassy knoll at the lower entrance. Further in the park, you'll see joggers, fishermen, birdwatchers, picnickers, and hikers doing the scenic landscape. Gulls squawk overhead and Canada geese wade where the cascading springs meet the mighty Missouri. Giant Springs Park Ranger Tamara Tolle describes the park: "a geological, cultural, and historical wonder, with incredible views of nature." More than 200 years ago, explorer William Clark called this "the largest fountain or spring" he'd seen in America. "e water boils up from under the rocks near the edge of the river…and keeps its colour for a mile." e springs spew 156 million gallons each day, at a constant temperature of 54 degrees, Tolle says. "It's a geological wonder that this water travels 40 miles underground from the Lile Belt Mountains, a journey that takes 26 years!" Giant Springs aracts locals and travelers alike. "We're a pit stop for visitors traveling between Yellowstone and Glacier," Tolle says. "People who grew up here come, too. It's a comfortable, friendly park for all. What's nice is you can find solitude and engage socially at the same time." 4803 Giant Springs Rd, Great Falls, MT 59405 Text by Denise Czuprynski • Photography by Ted Stuff

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