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Wilderness Walks Hosted By Eastern Chapter

Wild Montana will offer 68 Wilderness Walks across Montana this summer, starting May 14. These free educational outings include a number of family-friendly adventures and educational opportunities, including how to identify plants, flowers, birds and stars, as well as how to write about and draw nature.

The Wilderness Walks season begins in May with a wildflower walk in the Cabinet Mountains, a hike along Upper Layout Creek in the Pryors and a geology-themed trek into the Humbug Spires Wilderness Study Area. These experiences are part of Wild Montana’s recently launched education program, which includes year-round live and virtual experiences across the state for all ages.

The following hikes are selections from the Wilderness Walks season: ”Makoshika Journey Through Time” is set for Saturday, Aug. 19, with a length of four miles. Join a ranger- led hike along Makoshika State Park’s Vista Trail. There will be sweeping views of the pine and juniper-studded badland formations as we traverse an open plateau. Along the way, hikers will see the physical boundary between the Cretaceous and Tertiary periods, which marks the mass extinction of the dinosaurs over 65 million years ago. Arrive early or stay late to browse the visitor center’s collection of dinosaur fossils, including tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops skulls found in the area. This hike is offered in partnership with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

“Sunsets and Stargazing in Medicine Rocks State Park” on Saturday, July 15. The hike is two miles. Medicine Rocks State Park is one of two dark sky sanctuaries in the entire state. The group will hike one of the trail loops in the park among sandstone pillars carved out by the elements. Bring blankets and comfy clothes for stargazing. Grab a camping spot in the park for the weekend or just make it a late night.

“Medicine Rocks Meander” is set for Saturday, Aug. 26. It is two miles. A park ranger will lead this stroll along Medicine Rock State Park’s scenic Dalton Trail. The path leads through sandy knobs and pockmarked pillars that abruptly jut up from the rolling grass and pine-covered hills of southeast Montana.

The complete schedule and registration information on registering for these free events is available at wildmontana. org/walks.

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