Lake Fishing

Les Mason State Park

Les Mason State Park

Les Mason State Park

Les Mason State Park

Les Mason State Park is a great day-use spot! With 585 feet of sand and gravel lakeshore, Les Mason is perfect for swimming, cross-country skiing, and picnicking.

Les Mason State Park is the only state park on the east shore of Whitefish Lake. The 585 feet shoreline of sand and gravel beaches and clear blue water are perfect for swimming in the summers.

Les Mason State Park
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Things to do:

Dogs are only allowed in specifically marked areas of the park and a limited portion of the beach. Dog waste cleanup is very important to stop contamination of the lake.

While this park doesn't have the campgrounds and developed facilities that Whitefish Lake and other State Parks in the area have, it is quiet and serene most of the year with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains on a clear day.

A seasonal swimming dock is anchored just offshore in the summer months.

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    Spend a day on the lake and rent a kayak or canoe from Sea Me Paddle in at Whitefish Lake State Park during the summer

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    Visit downtown Whitefish for shopping, dining, and nightlife

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    Check out the local wildlife, including great birdwatching!

Although there is only a non-motorized boat launch at Les Mason, you can still get out on the water!

Sea Me Paddle Kayaking Tours, Inc., the concessionaire at Whitefish Lake State Park and Les Mason State Park, offers rental equipment, including stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and pedal boats.

Looking to bring your canine friend along? There is a designated dog swimming area for your furry friend to enjoy!

Be sure to stick around for sunset! The park is in a perfect position to catch great views as the sun sinks into the mountains across the lake.

While Les Mason State Park is open year-round, once the gates are closed for the winter you’ll find you’ll only be able to travel into the park via foot or skis.

Did You Know

Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"A great state park with a large pebble beach, roped off swim area with sunning platform, picnic tables, toilets, and dedicated dog area. Lots of sun here until sunset, and paddle rentals, as well. It gets very busy in summer, so get their early to claim your spot in the sun."

"Most beautiful park in whitefish lake. Shore fishing access and swimming access. Crystal clear water and colorful pebble beach rocks smooth. Ahhhh wish i was there everyday."

"Good place for swimming and the most sun. Clean beach area with pick nick tables in the trees. Beautiful."

"Hidden gem in Whitefish. This is the best beach in town and much less crowded than City Beach. Dog-friendly beach is a perfect spot to people watch and relax a day away. Parking can be a bit tough so get here early! There are limited rentals and bathroom facilities. There are some pit-grills and tables as well. Highly recommend - bit of a drive from town but more than worth it!"

 

Quick Facts
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    Park

    Park is day use only. 
    Park is open to foot traffic/walk-in only during winter months. 
    Gates will close to vehicles on 10/31/22. 

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    Location

    2650 E. Lake Shore Drive Whitefish, MT 59937

Lake Mary Ronan State Park

Lake Mary Ronan State Park

Lake Mary Ronan State Park

Lake Mary Ronan State Park is just seven miles west of Flathead Lake.

This park offers a quiet camping opportunity nestled among a boreal forest.

This state park is noted for its fishing and numerous trails that lead into the surrounding areas, which abound in wildflowers and wildlife.

Lake Mary Ronan State Park
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Looking to camp?

Lake Mary Ronan State Park's campground offers 25 campsites, including seasonal electricity at individual campsites, a paved campground road and spurs, plus a new and improved group camping area, boat trailer parking and a boating ramp.
This state park is on 120 acres at an elevation of 3,770 ft.

Off the beaten path just 7 miles west of Flathead Lake, this park is shaded by Douglas fir and western larch.
Lake Mary Ronan provides a quiet opportunity for relaxing, camping, and fishing from either a boat or the parks boat dock. A hiking trail leads into the surrounding area which abound with wildflowers and wildlife.

Several businesses near the park offer a variety of services including food, beverages, bait, and more.

Did You Know

Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"One of my families favorite places to camp. Fishing is great and the campground is quiet"

"Beautiful lodge ,great amenities, extremely lovely and helpful staff. Very excited to come back for a longer stay!"

"Stopped to check out the state campground and lake, very beautiful and peaceful. Dennis, park host, very friendly and knowledgeable of the lake, fishing and surrounding areas. My husband and I are looking forward to camping there."

"Beautiful location. Friendly hosts. Always kept clean and tidy."

 

Quick Facts
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    Park

    Open

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    Campground 

    Open until late November

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    Electricity

    Available through October

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    Potable water

    Available May through September

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    Dock

    Available during open water

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    Location

    50623 Lake Mary Ronan Rd. Dayton, MT 59860

Parks That Others Are Visiting

Lake Elmo State Park

Lake Elmo State Park

Lake Elmo State Park

Inside the city limits of Billings is Lake Elmo State Park. A large 64-acre reservoir, Lake Elmo is the perfect place to swim, paddle, fish, picnic, bird watch, or hike the 1.4-mile nature trail.  The Lake, originally known as Holling Lake Reservoir, was constructed to provide water to irrigated farmland as part of the Carey Land Act of 1894.  The water that fills the man-made lake is diverted from the Yellowstone River near Laurel, MT, and flows through 63 miles of gravity-fed canals before reaching the lake.

We are able to bring you valuable information about this amazing state park thanks to the support of:

Lake Elmo State Park
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Things to do:

Prior to becoming a State Park in 1983, Lake Elmo was once the site of a two-story restaurant and night club known for dancing, big band music, and two-inch thick T-bone steaks.  Nearby property owners created beaches for swimming and even cleared snow from the lake in the winter to host ice skating.  At once point a thriving boat club was formed by local water skiing and motor boating enthusiasts.

The Regional Office for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is now located in the park.  The Regional Office houses an impressive collection of taxidermied birds, fish, and wildlife.  You can also purchase conservation licenses and apply for permits at the office which is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A special feature of Lake Elmo is its Dog Park. The 200-square-foot fenced-in area includes a water area and is located on the west side of the lake. Each visitor is allowed a maximum of two dogs in this special area. Dogs must be 4 months or older. Dogs must be on a leash in all other areas of Lake Elmo State Park.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Lake Elmo Supper Club drew people for dining, dancing, and watching water skiers just out the back door. The Supper Club burned down in 1946, but Lake Elmo continues to be a popular place today.

The reservoir was constructed in 1906 and serves as the storage basin for the Billings Bench Water Association. 

Your four-legged friends will love Lake Elmo State Park as much as you! The dog park at Lake Elmo is a 200-square-foot fenced area that includes access to the water located on the west side of the lake. You and two of your furry friends are allowed to run off-leash in this area, but must be on a leash in all other parts of the park. 

During the summer, the lake is stocked with fish regularly and Roger’s Pier is an excellent fishing spot on the south shore of the lake. And although a popular place to cool off in the summer, the lake can be accessed from many points which means these parks never feel too overcrowded. 

Only non-motorized boating is allowed on the lake though, so you won’t find any water skiing here like you could in the 30s and 40s!

Did You Know

Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"It's basically on the outskirts of town. Fair sized, man made lake with stocked, variety of fish. No motorized craft allowed on the lake. There are picnic shelters, kids play ground, paved parking and restrooms. The water's edge is a work in progress with some beach areas and a boat ramp. No overnight camping. A great day trip."

"I really like this lake, not only is it large enough to explore it has great picknick areas, walking trails. It's very clean and well taken care of."

"Great family place. Canoeing, swimming, and just fun in the sun with people you care about."

"A beautiful lake right in town and watching the sunset there was breathtaking."

 

Quick Facts
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    Park

    Day Use Only - no camping
    Open daily all year
    5am - 10pm

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    Location

    2300 Lake Elmo Drive Billings, MT 59105

Parks That Others Are Visiting

Finley Point State Park 1

Finley Point State Park

Finley Point State Park

Finley Point State Park

Located on a narrow point on the south side of Flathead Lake, Finley Point is an ideal park for boaters and RV campers.

Finley Point is one of Montana's oldest state parks and has been open to the public since July 12th, 1965. The park is known as an excellent fishing location for Lake Trout and Kokanee Salmon. Anglers should note that state and tribal fishing licenses are required for fishing in the area.

Finley Point State Park
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Looking to boat?

Boaters can rent a slip in the marina, some of which offer electric and water hookups for those camping on their boats. Along with the camping slips, the marina also offers 12 boat slips without electricity.

Camping, boating, and other visitor facilities at Finley Point State Park were recently rebuilt or expanded by WGM Group of Missoula, MT.

The new park layout and expanded facilities allow for more visitors to enjoy the park without feeling crowded and reducing impacts on sensitive lakeshore habitat.

Thinking of camping? Finley Point offers 18 RV campsites, seven tent sites and four boat camping slips. Maximum RV length will vary by campsite, so be sure to check out the ReserveAmerica website for additional details. 

MT State Parks Rangers frequently host interpretive storytelling and other special events at the park.  These programs usually take place in the evening and are free to registered campers at the park.  

While in close proximity to Polson and very busy during the summer months, Finley Point’s mature conifer forest helps the campground feel secluded. 

Did You Know

Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"One simple word “AMAZING!” We love Finely Point!!"

"Beautiful scenic area, even if it's for a quick stop on your road trip. There was also an amazing massive field of pinkish flowers just on the north end of it when we were there!"

"The site was amazing!! It had amazing views right on the shore."

"Nice sites and many close to the water. Trees, nice base for tents. Dogs ok"

 

Quick Facts
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    Park

    Open April through October

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    Campground

    Open April through October

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    Dock

    Contact park for availability.
    Dock is unusable when lake level is low. Typically lake level is high enough mid-June through early-September.

    For waves & wind forecast, check NOAA Graphical Flathead Lake Forecast

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    Location

    31453 S. Finley Point Rd. Finley Pt., MT 59806

Cooney State Park

Cooney State Park

Cooney State Park

Head to Cooney State Park, a reservoir 40 minutes south of Billings, to go boating, play in the water, camp, and fish. This is the most popular recreation area serving south-central Montana, and it's always a busy place in the summer!

We are able to bring you valuable information about this amazing state park thanks to the support of:

Visit Billings
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Cooney State Park
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Looking to fish?

Cooney has been a state park since October of 1970, and new visitor amenities have been added slowly over time. The 97 ft tall earthen dam on Red Lodge Creek that forms the reservoir was constructed in 1937 as part of a larger irrigation project for nearby farmers and ranchers.

Not only does the park have a gorgeous reservoir, but it has great views of the Beartooth Mountain Range in the background.

Regardless of the season, you’ll find excellent fishing for walleye and rainbow trout. And don’t forget, the Red Lodge Arm has a fish cleaning station!

Planning to bring your boat along? You shouldn’t have any issues finding a place to drop in with three boat docks and ramps surrounding the lake!

During the winter, some people enjoy kite-skiing across the lake! 

Camping is plentiful at Cooney State Park, with five campgrounds and 82 campsites, 19 of which have electricity! While the electricity in the campgrounds is on year-round, be aware the water is shut off during the winter months. 

There are also three day-use group areas available around the lake. 

Did You Know

Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"Moon coming out on a beautiful night on Cooney, fireworks northeast, south Red Lodge mountain still snow on the runs, people laughing in the distance having fun, winds died so this sailboat not going anywhere, on the hook south of Red lodge camping area wow it really doesn't get any better than this!"

"Park Ranger and the camp host were both really great with answering all our questions and giving directions to camp and nearest local convenience store! The campground is clean and beautiful, right on the lake, but not much shade so come prepared!"

"Every day of fishing is a good day. Mostly with scenery like this."

"It's an awesome place! Boat ramps, fishing, boating swimming, fires and camping! And you can rent kayaks and paddle boards."

 

"Just a little piece of heaven."

Quick Facts
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    Park

    Open Year-Round

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    Electricity

    Available

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    Drinking Water

    Available May 15 - September 27.

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    Comfort Stations & Showers

    Flush toilets available May 15 - September 27.

    Metered showers available to all registered campers in Marshall Cove Campground.  Requires 8 quarters for each shower.

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    Docks

    Available May 1 - November 1, weather dependent

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    Location

    86 Lake Shore Road

    Roberts, MT 59070

Black Sandy State Park 1

Black Sandy State Park

Black Sandy State Park

Black Sandy State Park

Black Sandy State Park is an extremely popular weekend boating, fishing, camping, and water skiing location.

You can make reservations up to one day in advance of your arrival date. For same-day availability, try the park office 406-458-3221 to check if any sites are available for that night. There are also boat slips for rent on a first-come, first-served basis.

Black Sandy State Park
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Looking to camp?

Black Sandy State Park has 29 campsites with electricity that you can reserve, and 6 campsites without electricity that are first come-first served.
The maximum trailer length is 35 ft.

There is NO lifeguard on duty at Black Sandy State Park.

The dam that forms Hauser reservoir, was built in the early 1900s and named after former governor Samuel Thomas Hauser. The park lies along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The Lewis and Clark Expedition passed through the area in 1805.

Prior to 1980, Montana Power Company owned the land and operated the park as a recreation area. In 1980, Montana Power turned over management of the park to Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP). In 1982, it was designated a state recreation area. Later on, the land was also turned over to FWP. (via wiki)

Did You Know

Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"Went overnight for tent camping. Nice spot right next to the water. There are 6 tent spots, none of which are bad. RV pads look nice right next to the water."

"Very nice areas, usually less crowded than Canyon Ferry. Make sure you stock up before you go, there aren't any stores close by. Some nice hikes and chances to see some wildlife."

"One of the most beautiful, peaceful places on earth. We only planned to stay one nite but extended for another nite because it was so peacefully and relaxing here."

"This is an excellent location for outdoor recreation. Plus, the staff are super friendly and the facilities are always maintained; very clean! "

 

"Close to helena, well kept but busy most of the time. All kinds of camping, close to a convenience store. State owned therefore inexpensive, and family friendly."

Quick Facts
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    Park

    Open 24 hours/day all year for day use and camping.

    May 1- Nov 30: electrical hookups available

    Dec 1 - May 1: Limited facilities available

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    Normal Hours

    Winter hours, October 7 - April 13: Open Wed - Sun, 10 am - 4 pm.
    Summer hours: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm daily; Open until 6:30pm in mid-summer.

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    Location

    6563 Hauser Dam Road
    Helena, MT 59602

Big Arm State Park

Big Arm State Park

Big Arm State Park

Big Arm State Park is located on the western shore of Flathead Lake and less than 20 minutes outside of Polson, MT.

Flathead is the largest natural freshwater lake in the western United States. Twenty-eight miles long and 15 miles wide, Flathead Lake is renowned for its beauty.

 

Big Arm State Park
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Looking to camp?

The park has both flush and vault toilets, tent/RV sites, bear-resistant storage lockers, boat trailer parking, sheltered picnic tables, drinking water, grills/fire rings, firewood, picnic tables, trash cans, and coin-operated showers. RV/trailer size is limited to 30 feet in the 41 site campground. 

There are also seven tent-only campsites available. Big Arm has also added two yurts, including one that is entirely ADA accessible. Plans for more yurts, cabins and other accommodations are in the works. 

You will need a joint state/tribal for fishing license or fishing at this park, and campers may stay only 14 days during a 30-day period. Pets are required to be on leashes. Fees are charged for day use and camping.

  • Lounge on the long pebble beach or take a dip in the lake to cool off.
  • Come prepared with your joint state/tribal fishing license if you want to try and catch a big one!
  • Take a scenic hike on the trail, which provides outstanding views of the mountains.
  • Catch a glimpse of wildlife, including birds, deer, and even a bear from time to time
  • Spend a day on the lake boating, skiing or wakeboarding
  • Experience a feeling of tranquility while camping under a collection of mature ponderosa pine and juniper trees
  • Plus so many more!
  • Open April through October
  • Day-Use Area Open Year-Round
  • 217 acres
  • ADA Accessible 
  • Pets Allowed
  • Toilets (Vault & Flush)
  • Water
  • Yurt 
  • Firewood for Sale 
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Boat Launch

On Flathead Lake's Big Arm Bay, this park is a popular destination for camping, swimming, fishing, picnicking, and as a jump-off point to Wild Horse Island.

Big Arm's pebble beach is a popular place to get your feet wet or take a swim in the lake.

Mature pine and fir trees surround the campsites at the park. Other activities at the park include fishing for lake trout, boating, fishing, swimming, camping, picnicking, bicycling, hiking the park trails, wildlife viewing, scuba diving, and water-skiing.

The water in Ackley Lake comes from the Judith River and is stockpiled for irrigation use!

Did You Know

Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"Wonderful camp grounds. Nice hosts, clean restrooms - overall well run and managed. It's a fantastic place to camp and play on the lake."

"Camped here with our boat. It was perfect! Great roomy sites and lots of shade. Yurt was very clean and bathrooms were better than most campsites we've been too."

"Big Arm campsite is super nice for fishing and swimming. Would 100% recommend it!"

"Beautiful place. Clear lake. Friendly people"

 

Quick Facts
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    Park

    Day use area open year-round

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    Campground

    Open April through October

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    Water

    Available mid-May through mid-September

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    Shower House & Flush Toilets

    Open mid-May through mid-September

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    Dock

    Normally available mid-March through November, weather permitting. 

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    Location

    28031 Big Arm State Park Road

    Big Arm, MT 59910

Parks That Others Are Visiting

Ackley Lake State Park 2

Ackley Lake State Park

Ackley Lake State Park

Ackley Lake State Park

Just southwest of Hobson, you’ll find Ackley Lake State Park. Surrounded by the Little Belt and Snowy Mountains, Ackley Lake is an incredibly beautiful destination.

Ackley Lake is nestled right in the heart of Montana's Big Sky Country. One glimpse and you'll easily understand how the beautiful views of the surrounding Little Belt and Snowy Mountains and rich agricultural land captured the heart of the legendary Western artist, Charlie Russell, a hundred years ago.

Today, the diverse water recreation opportunities at this 290-acre park include fishing, boating, picnicking and camping.

Stocked with rainbow trout, the lake is often good angling for 10 to 15-inch fish. Ackley Lake has 15 first-come-first-served campsites (cannot be reserved), and two boat launches.

On a warm summer day, enjoy the cool waters of Ackley Lake on Montana's open plains!

If you visit Ackley State Park in the winter, you’ll find a small village of ice huts filled with ice fishers!

Ackley Lake State Park
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Looking to camp?

Ackley Lake has 15 sites all of which have fire rings and picnic tables, 12 sites also have shelters covering the picnic tables!

New campsites will be opening very soon!

The Ackley Lake Fishing Club in Lewistown is very active in the park. Check them out on their Facebook page.

Yogo Sapphire mine is nearby in Little Belt Mountains. The Yogo Sapphire is a beautiful blue sapphire that maintains it's brilliance even under artificial light. You can find out more about them on Wikipedia.

Visiting the area? The Oxen Yoke Inn, in nearby Utica serves one of the best burgers in the state. Read more about it here!

The water in Ackley Lake comes from the Judith River and is stockpiled for irrigation use!

Did You Know

Curious what other visitors have had to say about the park?

"Beautiful, spacious, peaceful and fun!"

"It's beautiful here & I heard the fishing is good."

"The only state park in the middle of MT. Nice cottonwoods surround good size lake. Camp spots on the far side are more private and shaded in the afternoon. Beautiful prairie views."

 

"It is a fun place to hang out for the weekend. Great for fishing year-round."

 

Quick Facts
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    Park

    Open Year-Round

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    Campground

    Open Year-Round

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    Potable water

    No potable water available

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    Location

    989 Ackley Lake Road Hobson, MT 59452

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