Bitterroot gets back to nature for National Get Outdoors Day
HAMILTON, Mont. - Saturday is National Get Outdoors Day. If you can, it's a day to unplug from your busy world, pull out the fishing gear, lace up the hiking boots, or saddle the horses for a Montana adventure.
This Father's Day weekend, families are especially encouraged to go outside and play.
Dozens of national forests and grasslands will offer free recreational and educational activities.
The Bitterroot National Forest encourages first-time visitors to our public lands.
"We need to celebrate them and enjoy them," said Bitterroot National Forest supervisor Julie King.
"It's also the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act," she said. "We have the Selway Bitterroot, the Frank Church here, it's part of the Bitterroot's niche, the gateway to wilderness."
The Bitterroot Forest is celebrating by waiving all day-use fees at Lake Como, south of Hamilton.
The fee waiver applies only to Lake Como's day-use sites including the beach, picnic areas, boat launch and trailhead, not campgrounds, group overnight use or rental cabin fees.
Lake Como is the most utilized recreation site in the Northern Region.
Jennifer Bush and her little girls Brenna and Ella soaked up the scenery on the shore of Como Friday morning. The Bushes are from Darby, and are active outside in all seasons.
"I want them to enjoy being outside," said Bush, "to get away from the TV and enjoy everything we have to offer here in the Bitterroot."
Bush and the girls are looking forward to spending Father's Day with dad this weekend.
NBC Montana caught up with trail runner Andy Johnson at the Camas Creek Trailhead. Johnson took to the trail for a brisk morning run.
"It's perfect out," he said. "It's cool and nice."
A group of hikers from Missoula came to Camas for a nice day hike of about 6 miles.
"We're going up to Camas Lake," said hiker Elizabeth DeGarmo, "to take a look at the beautiful lake and the beautiful surroundings."
There are GO Day events from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday at Florence Park. There will be art in the park, bike rides, bird identification, a fly-casting clinic and pony rides.
The Bitterroot National Forest is encouraging kids to post pictures with their dads celebrating the outdoors on Father's Day. You can learn more at facebook.com/DiscovertheBitterroot.