It's official. Montana's newest State Park is Travelers' Rest State Park south of Missoula near Lolo, bringing the total number of Montana State Parks to 42.
"The15-acre property, purchased by an anonymous buyer through a private foundation and donated to FWP, is a treasured and timely addition to the state parks system," said Doug Monger, administrator of FWP's Parks Division.
The site's ties to the Lewis and Clark Expedition and as a traditional Native American camping site makes it an important addition to the cultural and historic parks in the state system.Journals and maps from the Lewis and Clark expedition indicate that the 15-acre property could be an important part of Lewis and Clark's campsite on the trip to the Pacific Ocean in September 1805 and on the return trip in June 1806.Additional archeological survey work of the area will be done this summer.
The Nez Perce passed through the area to reach the eastern buffalo country and the Lemhi Shoshone and Salish peoples used the camp site and nearby roads, according to historians who estimate Native Americans first made use of the site centuries ago.
The Lolo Community Development Corp., under a five-year agreement with FWP, will maintain and operate the new park.