Weekly Parks Showcase: Brush Lake State Park3 min read

This week’s focus takes us to Dagmar, Montana only 54 miles from Williston, North Dakota, and only 150 Regina, Saskatchewan, to the only state park in the northeast corner of Montana, Montana’s 50th state park, Brush Lake State Park. Brush Lake is a deep lake (65 feet) in a closed basin and the site of National Science Foundation (NSF) research on climate change. The lake boasts 45 feet of sediments showcasing 10,000 years of pollen and mineral depositing helping to tell the story of climate, and its changes, since the Ice Age.

Did you know?
Brush Lake State Park is 280-acres and its water quality is theorized to be more ocean-like than fresh water-like – making it an ideal swimming location in the summer months.

Both deep and incredibly clear, Brush Lake’s beaches are surrounded by grass fields and spring wheat during the summer.

Things to do:

✅ Hoping to camp? You can do so in one of the 12 campsites!

✅ Take a hike and go bird-watching along the shore.

✅ Public swimming access is on the northeast part of the lake where the day-use area is also located.

✅ Utilize the boat launch and take your boat, canoe, or kayak out for a day on the water.

✅ Have a picnic on the beach!

✅ Plus so much more!

Due to its close proximity to Canada, during Prohibition liquor was easy to come by and kept the Brush Lake Summer Resort in business. There was also a dance hall!

After the Prohibition era, church and scout groups used the lake, but in the years before it became a state park, Brush Lake wasn’t the popular destination it once had been.

Today the area where the dance hall once stood on the south side of the lake, is now privately held.

In Eastern Montana, it is not uncommon to see the Aurora Borealis during solar events, especially during the fall and winter.

Brush Lake’s northern latitude and remote location make it a “stellar” destination for your next stargazing or northern lights viewing adventure. In fact, it has been designated as an official Dark Sky Viewing Area.


Because of the high alkali content, Brush Lake does not support a significant fish population. But in contrast, it showcases a distinctive aquamarine blue color.

How to Get There:

Brush Lake State Park is located 31 miles south of Plentywood, Montana. From Montana Highway 16 go east on Highway 258 for 16.5 miles, turn south on Brush Lake County Road, proceed one mile.

Let’s get outside!

How Does the Foundation Help State Parks Like Brush Lake State Park?
As Montana State Parks’ only statewide fundraising partner, the Foundation helps to raise awareness, education, and most importantly support boots-on-the-ground improvement projects for users and supporters like you.

As an agency faced with a $22 million maintenance deficit, our work and collaboration help to ensure continued access and solutions currently inside our state park system.

Because in the end, we envision state parks that reflect Montana’s renowned outdoor recreation and heritage for all… forever.

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