Outdoor Recreation

Open Space Natural Areas

Butte-Silver Bow has several Open Space Natural Areas managed for both their natural value, as well as for recreational use. Natural areas provide opportunities for nature-based recreation, such as bird-watching and environmental education.

Butte-Silver Bow natural areas include Thompson Park, a 3,800-acre forested park south of Butte that is co-owned and co-managed by the U.S. Forest Service; Big Butte, which is 310 acres; Skyline Park, which is 60 acres; Basin Creek Reservoir, which is 42 acres; and Blacktail Creek, which is 10 acres.

Thompson Park provides non-motorized trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding; picnic areas, and regulation disc golf course. Skyline Park provides a kids fishing pond, dog park, walking trails, and a hang gliding landing site. Big Butte provides non-motorized trails for hiking and mountain biking.

Trails, Fishing and Camping

Butte-Silver Bow has developed an urban trail system within its parks as well as trails that connect to surrounding open spaces utilizing many of the Butte’s railroad and stream corridors such as the Butte, Anaconda and Pacific Railroad (BA&P) corridor, Blacktail, and Silver Bow Creek Greenway Trails.

The Copperway Trails and Butte Heritage Park Trails are a network of non-motorized trails linking a variety of cultural sites. Other trail networks include Thompson Park and Big Butte that provide natural area opportunities for bird watching and viewing wildlife while providing non-motorized hiking, mountain bicycling, and horseback riding opportunities.

City-county trails are only a piece of the trails recreation available in the Butte area. The Forest Service maintains numerous trails in the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest, including the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST), which runs to the immediate east and south of Butte and has numerous connections to local trails at Thompson Park, Blacktail Canyon and Maud S Canyon. The CDNST and other trails are easily accessible within a 15-20 minute drive from Butte at the Homestake (on I-90) and Pipestone (on MT-2) trailheads. Maps and more info are available at the Butte Ranger District office.

More recreation opportunities are available on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands - visit the Butte field office for details. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks also maintains numerous fishing access sites on area lakes and rivers.