Headwaters Trail System
The Headwaters Trail System is a paved network of trails that runs along the former Milwaukee Railroad bed through the City of Three Forks to the Missouri Headwaters State Park. Future plans include extending the trail to Manhattan, Montana, and other parts of the Gallatin Valley. The scenic trail provides views of the surrounding mountains and grasslands, winds around ponds and through old growth cottonwood trees, and end on the banks of the Jefferson River. In 2007, it was selected as the Montana Trail of the Year by the State Fish, Wildlife & Parks department. The Headwaters Run is an annual fundraiser, held the fourth Saturday of July. Pre-registration is available at Race Montana.
Three Forks area Historical Society
HEADWATERS HERITAGE MUSEUM
Headwaters Heritage Museum is one of those rare gems found only by those who get off the beaten path. The museum, formerly the Three Valleys State Bank built in 1910 and now on the National Register of Historic Places, contains thousands of artifacts depicting the area's history.
To highlight but a few exhibits…Montana’s largest brown trout (29.5 pounds), the museum’s mascot “Henslee the Beaver” and possibly the oldest American-made anvil in existence. There are display cases of neighboring towns- Logan and Willow Creek- as well as artifacts of the now extinct Gallatin Cities and Trident. The history of Three Forks begins in Old Town, and this display case details its beginnings.
Upstairs, another excellent exhibit is 571 different types of barbed wire. The offices formerly of doctors, dentists and attorneys are now scenes of earlier days. Three Forks was once a thriving railroad community, and the Milwaukee Railroad station agent's office displays a great assortment of memorabilia of those bygone days. The military room is full of mementos of the men and women of Three Forks who have served their country.
A treasure trove for genealogists and historians, there is an archive of historic photos of the area, obituaries, school yearbooks and a microfilm reader for a good sized collection of the local newspapers (Three Forks Herald, Three Forks News and the Pink Reporter). The museum’s web-site, www.tfhistory.org, has collections of historic data and articles pertaining to the area’s history.
The gift shop holds a variety of books on topics of local history, the Lewis and Clark Expedition and fur trapper era, plus postcards, gifts and souvenirs.
The museum is owned and maintained by the Three Forks Area Historical Society and is open June 1 through September 30. Hours are 9 am to 5 pm daily with extended hours to 8 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Sunday hours are 11 am to 3 pm. No admission is charged, but donations are appreciated. For more information, call 406-285-4778.
RAILROAD AND TRIDENT HERITAGE CENTER (TRIDENT DEPOT)
A 100 year old Northern Pacific Railroad Depot from Trident was saved from demolition by the Three Forks Area Historical Society in 2011. It was moved to Milwaukee Park at the east entrance to Three Forks and placed near the orange Milwaukee Railroad Caboose Visitor Information Center.
Renovation is underway for the Railroad and Trident Heritage Center that will preserve the railroad history of Three Forks and that of the village of Trident which no longer exists, plus being the new VIC. The predicted completion of this project is late summer of 2018.
Engraved bricks are still available and help fund the renovation project. Brick order forms can be found online. Google Trident Depot Defender, Depot Defender-Headwaters Heritage Museum, then Memorial Bricks…or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Golf in Three Forks
The Headwater Public Golf Course, built by Three Forks citizens in 1986, is known for water, wildlife and the wondrous mountain views in all directions. One of the few golf courses in Montana open year-round, the course takes full advantage of the area’s mild winters and typical deficiency of snowfall. Don’t be surprised to see golfers out on this course in late December or early January! If the course is bare of snow, and the temp is 40-degrees or better, this course is open.
For more infomation visit Headwaters Golf
Pogreba Field Airport
The Three Forks Airport is a public use airport owned by Gallatin County, and located just one mile southeast of downtown Three Forks. It is known as Pogreba Field, named for our own Missing in Action pilot Cpt. Dean Pogreba of Three Forks, whose plane went missing during the Vietnam War. As taken from an excerpt in the book Pogie 105 by the widow of Pogreba, Maxine writes, “In 1971 former U.S. Marine fighter pilot and Dean’s protégé, Bill Fairhurst, then mayor of Three Forks, spearheaded an effort to name the local airport after Dean. Although still listed MIA, Dean has been promoted to Colonel as he was still considered ‘active duty.’ Mayor Fairhurst had long admired Dean as a friend and fellow pilot. The airport was dedicated as Pogreba Field on May 22, 1971. In 1995 a permanent granite memorial and flagpole were also dedicated at Fairhurst’s urging.” Pogreba Field covers an area of 160 acres (65 ha) at an elevation of 4,089 feet (1,246 m) above mean sea level. It has one runway designated 2/20 with an asphalt surface measuring 5,100 by 60 feet (1,554 x 18 m).
The airport hosts the state's oldest fly-in every August. The airport has a fully operational skydiving drop zone, one of only two in the state. To learn more visit their website at http://www.skydivebozeman.com/
The airport also has two glider clubs on the field, offering scenic rides and glider instruction, and one of the only ground launching systems for gliders in the U.S.
Bring your fly-fishing gear. Fishing the headwaters of the Missouri River near Three Forks provides sports persons with hundreds of miles of accessible blue-ribbon trout fishing. The Madison, Gallatin, Jefferson, and Missouri rivers are among the world's most famous trout waters. Within Three Forks City limits, the Three Forks ponds are great for canoeing, kayaking and children’s fishing. You may access the Headwaters Trail System from anywhere in town for a short 1-mile walk to the ponds. There are also dozens of fishing access sites nearby. With a snow-capped mountainous background, fishing these clear waters captures many a fisherman’s attention. The area offers views of a multitude of wildlife including great blue herons, sand hill cranes, red-tailed hawks, golden and bald eagles, river otters, beaver, mink, Canadian geese, whitetail and mule deer, elk, and the occasional moose highlight the panorama. All non-residents 15 years and older are required to obtain a fishing license. A valid licensed adult must accompany anyone under 15 years of age. Nearby Fish, Wildlife & Parks fishing access points include Blackbird, Droulliard, Williams Bridge, Sappington, Cobblestone, Grey Cliff, Black’s Ford, Logan Bridge, Fairweather, Milwaukee and the Missouri Headwaters State Park.
For detailed information on each site, please visit Montana Fishing
Headwaters State Park
Located just 4 miles from the city limits, and accessible via the Headwaters Trail System you can camp where Lewis and Clark stayed in 1805. This park encompasses the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Rivers.
For more information visit Missouri Headwaters
Buffalo Jump State Park
See one of the largest buffalo jump sites in the country! Just a short drive away from city limits, take a picnic and hike to the top of the buffalo jump for impressive views of the Madison River Valley. Situated on the edge of a broad valley carved by the Madison River, this high limestone cliff was used by Native Americans for 2,000 years – ending as recently as 200 years ago. Native people stampeded vast herds of bison off this massive semicircular cliff, using them for food, clothing, shelter and provisions.
For more information visit Madison Buffalo Jump
lewis & clark caverns state park
Camp, hike and experience amazing geologic wonders at Montana's first and best-known state park showcase of one of the most highly decorated limestone caverns in the Northwest.
for more information visit Lewis & Clark Caverns