8 Top-Rated Things To Do In Bigfork (2023)
Bigfork is a pretty little Montana town and one of the West’s 100 Best Small Art Towns. It sits somewhere on the north-eastern edge of Flathead Lake. Bigfork is located near Kalispell and is one of the Glacier National Park getaways. However, this isn’t what describes this Montana town. Instead, Bigfork is known as a bustling art community with several world-class art galleries in the town. Besides that, Bigfork town has a pleasant lakefront, several delicious dining places, and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The best time to visit Bigfork is almost all the months of the year. Even its hottest July month goes no beyond than 30 to 32 degrees Celcius. Winters in Bigfork, though, get chilly; however, that’s nothing new for a town or city in Montana. Here is how you can make a pleasing and enjoyable vacation out of your trip to Bigfork. Below is the list full of popular places to visit when in Bigfork. We hope our recommendations will help you build your best itinerary. Have a look:
8 Top-Rated Things To Do In Bigfork
1. Begin The Trip By Visiting The Bigfork Summer Playhouse
The Bigfork Summer Playhouse is a live professional theater operating in the town for over 60 years now. It provides a performing platform to University of Montana Theatre students. Not only the locals but even the Oscar-winner J. K. Simmons have performed here. However, the Playhouse is open for the public who want to sit and enjoy plays, musical theatre, live music, concerts, movies & much more in Bigfork. The Playhouse has a 435-seat air-conditioned theater offering the most comfortable viewing experience for viewers. Besides that, the facility also has a concession area, a spacious lobby, continental-style seating for hundreds of guests. Not just for adults, but the Playhouse also hosts several performances keeping the little viewers in mind.
2. Check out ARTfusion
ARTfusion is an exclusive art gallery operating in Bigfork for over 25 years now. It is located centrally in the heart of arty Bigfork and is dedicated to exhibiting local Montana artists’ talent. The gallery exhibits a considerable collection of paintings, pictures, photographs, sculptures, ceramic art, and more art forms. The work here belongs to over 70 local (popular and unnamed) artists. In addition to their art exhibits, the facility also holds a collection of one-off pieces of jewelry. Upon visiting here, you can even shop for home décor and special gifting items, besides admiring the artwork. The gallery operates throughout the year with visiting time-varying upon seasons. If possible, consider visiting here during one of Bigfork’s two annual art walks. It is when 15 galleries from the art village collaborate for an exclusive event.
3. Watch The Sunset From The Banks Of The Swan River
Swan River is a 95 miles long north-flowing river in the Bigfork town of Montana. The river drains from the long-isolated swan valley outside of Bigfork. It facilitates both panoramic as well as adventure-filled excursions. Sitting on the shore of the deck, you can enjoy some of the finest sunset views in Bigfork.
The adventure hearts can access the “Wild Mile” section that lies between Flathead Lake and Bigfork Dam. Here the river drops for a mile long, about 30 m, quite dramatically. This section of Swan ideally makes for river rafting, canoeing, and paddling. However, because this particular stretch brings high adventures and challenges, only expert adrenalin junkies should access it. It is also the same place where the annual Bigfork Whitewater Festival takes place during the month of May. Besides water adventure, you can also use this stretch for excellent trout fishing opportunities.
4. Sit for Drinks at the Flathead Lake Brewing Company
Flathead Lake Brewing Company is an all-natural and unfiltered drinking place to visit. The Brewery is located on the picturesque shores of Flathead Lake and has been operating since 2004. Within no time of its establishment, it won World Beer Cup awards (two) and became the youngest Brewery ever to win them. Anyone who is 21 or older can visit here for some great craft beers and luscious food. The facility has about 16 brews on tap, along with a vast selection of wines and cocktails. Some of their best sellers include the award-winning Painted Rock Porter and the 369′ Stout. Besides that, they have two dining rooms serving a delicious menu. A must-try here is the Chicago-style deep dish pizza. For added fun, they also organize live music during the evening hours. This Montana liquid treasure operates Wednesday through Saturday, from 12 am to 8 pm.
5. For Outdoor Adventure, Visit The Wayfarer’s, State Park
Wayfarers is a 67 acres State Park and recreational zone on the northeast shore of Flathead Lake. It is one and a half miles south of Bigfork town and is popular for its adventure opportunities, serene environment, and sunset views. Wayfarers’ location of Flathead Lake’s shore opens up opportunities for water sports like canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Besides that, one can also step down for water-skiing and sailing. There is a boat ramp for using both motorized and non-motorized boats within the park boundaries. The State Park also facilitates recreational activities like lake fishing, bird watching, and hiking. During weekends, the park operates for guided nature walks. There are several picnic areas or if you want to stay overnight, you can use the tent or RV campsites that operate from mid-June through early September.
6. Go For A Hike Into the Natural Lands of and Around Bigfork
If you are a hiking enthusiast, you will find several trails in and around the town of Bigfork. For instance, the Swan River Trail runs alongside a river and is accessible for hikers of all fitness levels. This moderately used trail operates throughout the year, winding its ways along by the river rapids and the impressive vistas of Wild Mile. Along this medium-length hike, you will find several accesses points and excellent scenery walking all the way with you. Another hiking trail close to Bigfork is the Jewel Basin Hiking Trail. Nearly 15 miles from the town, it winds through stunning mountain vistas, amazing forest scenarios, and serene lakes. It is more of a wilder section than the former but requires a little effort to reach.
Another popular trail near Bigfork is the Bear dance Trail. This 13 miles out and back trail operates for trail running, hiking, and mountain biking. The trail stretches of varied terrain and has some fine obstacles in between. Mountain bikes can either bring their own bike or rent one from several renting shops in Bigfork.
7. Play A Game Of Golf At The Eagle Bend Golf Course
Eagle Bend is a 27 hole championship golf course split into three 9-hole courses. One of its courses is a design of Jack Nicklaus, the famous professional golfer and golf course designer of America. Eagle Bend is a dream golfing location for every golfer in Bigfork and its neighborhood. A visit here will introduce you to an outstanding practice facility, excellent greens, sculpted fairways, and a full-service restaurant. The course, though it is slightly pricey, considering its grandness in focus, it is worth it.
8. Explore the Bigfork Farmer’s Market
The Bigfork Farmer’s Market organizes downtown Bigfork in the form of a weekly Monday night market. It is a wonderful local outdoor event to gather with friends and family. The market takes place every Monday throughout the months of June to September (closed on Labour Day). It begins settling from early evening hours and goes all way long till night. The market features local farmers and their produce, bakery goods, fresh homemade eatables, food trucks, craft wines and beer, live music, and community gathering. During the summer months, the market also hosts free outdoor yoga sessions that are open for all.