Montana recreation

PacifiCorp provides recreation opportunities in Bigfork, Montana, as part of The Historic Bigfork Hydroelectric Project. Our facilities provide fishing, picnicking and hiking opportunities. The recreation sites are all day use only, no overnight camping permitted.

Safety around dams

Please use caution around dams and waterways. Follow posted notices and watch over children. 

Swan River Trail

  • West Trailhead located at end of Grand Avenue in town
  • East Trailhead located at Swan River Road just north of bridge
  • Vault restroom provided at midpoint of trail
  • Non-motorized multi use designation (equine, bicycle and hiking)
  • On-leash dogs are welcome, please pick up after your pet
  • Trail length is approximately 2.5 miles 
  • Trail grade and surfacing meets ADA trail guidelines

NOTE: The Swan River Nature Trail provides periodic vehicle acces for trail maintenance and to hydroelectric project facilities. Accordingly, you may encounter authorized motorized vehicles on the trail.

Powerhouse Park - Open

  • Day use picnic area
  • Picnic tables, trash cans provided
  • No restroom facilities available at park, but restrooms are provided at nearby Sliter Park
  • River access for bank fishing available

Pacific Park - Open

  • Day use picnic area
  • Picnic tables, fire rings, trash cans, barbecue grills, and vault restroom provided
  • ADA access within picnic area provided
  • Maintenance road between Pacific Park and South Shore Access available for nonmotorized public use. 
  • River access for bank fishing available. 

South Shore River and reservoir access - OPEN

  • Below dam access for white water kayaking
  • Above dam access for car top boat access
  • No picnic or restroom amenities provided 
  • Trash cans provided
  • Boat put in locations are ADA accessible
  • Primitive shoreline access trail is hiking only
  • Maintenance road between Pacific Park and South Shore Access available for nonmotorized public use

Kearney Rapids Boat Launch 

  • ADA parking
  • Boat launch
  • No picnic, restroom, or garbage amenities provided

Kearney Rapids Boat Launch Over Flow Parking

  • Graveled parking lot suitable for 10 vehicles with trailers
  • Restroom and garbage amenities provided
  • No picnic amenities provided
  • NO ADA parking. ADA parking is available at the Kearney Rapids Boat Launch

Bigfork Recreation Map

Bigfork Park Rules

Please Be Bear Aware. Follow State Wildlife guidelines to keep you, your family, and wildlife safe. 


An opportunity for local boaters

Water flows capable of supporting whitewater boating in the Swan River's Class IV Wild Mile will be released on Wednesdays, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. during July and August.

PacifiCorp operates the Bigfork Hydroelectric Project on the Swan River.  Providing these flows is a requirement of the federal license to operate the Bigfork Hydroelectric Project.

The Wild Mile can be accessed from the South Shore River Access located just out of town on State Highway 209 (see Bigfork Recreation Map) .

Whitewater releasees will occur only if natural flows in the river are at least 800 cubic feet per second at 8 a.m. on the day of the event regardless of flow later in the day.  Please visit the day of the scheduled flow for updated river flows. 

No hunting or open carrying of firearms is allowed within 100 yards of PacifiCorp Parks and Trails. Archery hunting ONLY is allowed outside of closed areas.  All PacifiCorp lands are open to the public and may be accessed by hiking. Biking (non-motorized) and horseback is allowed on  designated trails only. All unauthorized motorized vehicle use is prohibited.  If you have further questions or comments, please contact us by email at or by phone at 503-813-6666, Option 1.

Remember, hunting on private lands is a privilege and, as with all hunting activities, rules and prohibitions are enforced by state game agents and local law enforcement.

Hunting Restriction Map