Fall Wilderness Stroll
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than they seek.” – John Muir. Join the Glacier Institute staff as we channel our inner naturalist and practice the simple and fulfilling skill of observation. With our Fall Wilderness Strolls, we will drive you through the North Fork Valley to one of the most iconic off-the- grid locations in the Crown of the Continent. While enjoying the mercantile’s finest baked goods, we will stroll as slowly as a meandering stream through the beautiful and stunning North Fork Valley. We will take our time to discover Polebridge through the seasons and explore why this area truly is the Crown of the Continent. By the end of this leisurely stroll you will feel confident in your naturalist ability and will be able to share this connection with others.
Meeting place: Glacier Institute Columbia Falls Office
Itinerary: (subject to change due to trail closures and weather) Introductions at the Columbia Falls Main Office at 9 a.m. We will then load up in the Glacier Institute Bus and travel up the North Fork road to Polebridge. We will follow along the North Fork River, discussing the canyons, plant life and mountains that we see in route. Upon arriving at Polebridge, we will enjoy some tasty treats from the mercantile and get a glimpse of community life off-the-grid. The group will then slowly walk along the nature trail that winds through the meadows of the North Fork Valley. We will discuss the wilderness presence within Glacier National Park, and what species need and thrive in these wild places. Wildflowers, grasses and wildlife abound as we slowly saunter along. We will enjoy our trail lunch, or extra huckleberry bear claw, with the North Fork Valley as our view. After lunch we will discuss the fire history of the area, and how this fire regime has shaped the river, plants and animal presence who now inhabit the area. We will slowly make our way back to Polebridge, connecting all of the concepts we have learned. The group will load back up in the bus and return to the Colombia Falls Main Office by 3 p.m.
Food: Please bring a trail lunch, snacks, and plenty of water for the day.
Equipment: You will receive a gear list once you register. Most important are comfortable hiking shoes, snacks, water bottle at least 1-2 liters, backpack, rain gear, hat, and sunscreen. Bring along any field guides books of your interest, and binoculars are not required but may be beneficial to spot wildlife.
Physical Requirements: Very little difficulty. These light hikes are geared towards those who like to take leisurely strolls, at a very easy-going pace. Distances covered will be a maximum of two miles, with under 200 feet of elevation changes.
- Glacier: A Natural History Guide, by David Rockwell