New Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail Includes the Flathead

by Catherine Haug

Last year congress passed, and President Obama signed, the Omnibus Public Lands Act, which included a number of bills important for the protection and interpretation of America’s National Park System. Included was the creation of a new National Geologic Trail in the Pacific Northwest that includes the Flathead!

The Trail

The trail is made up of existing roads, including MT Hwys 35 and 82, and US Hwy 93 around the lake, and south to Missoula, as well as MT 28 through the Big Draw. Polson is considered a “gateway community,” and Missoula will have a major interpretive center to explain Lake Missoula as the source (headwaters) of the flood (even though the flood waters exited the lake near Nirada, at the Big Draw).

In addition to the designation of the highways, the designated flood area extends north to the West Glacier and Whitefish areas, which encompasses much of our Ag land.

Perhaps this trail will help us to retain some of our Ag land, preserve the community nature of our Hwy 35, and boost our tourism economy.

To learn more, or see a map
To learn more about this Omnibus bill, see National Parks Conservation Association, March 25, 2009 Press Release. See also for more detailed information about this bill.

To see a map of the new National Trail, see Ice Age Floods Institute Trail Map.

To learn more about these geologically historic floods, see Ice Age Floods Institute, Welcome page and Geology.

See for a great photo of the Big Draw along MT Hwy 28.

Comments are closed.