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Between all of the major cities in Montana is the county seat of Broadwater County, Townsend. Located in the Missouri River Valley between the Big Belt and Elkhorn Mountains, where the Missouri river opens into Canyon Ferry Lake (Montana’s 3rd largest body of water), Townsend was named by railroad officials in 1883. It was then that a rail stop was made because businesses were becoming more established to support the gold mining in this region. Land lots then were just $5 apiece! Famed explorers Lewis and Clark traveled through in 1805. The mighty Missouri River borders the town, and the area is nicknamed “Valley of Adventure” because of the vast outdoor opportunities that are readily available. Large areas of BLM and state land surround the town. Townsend is just 15 minutes from Canyon Ferry Lake which is one of Montana’s most soughtafter recreational spot. The lake provides activities of boating, ice boat sailing, yearround fishing for Trout, Salmon, Perch, and Walleye, camping, sight-seeing, picnicking, hiking, hunting, and swimming. It is also conveniently near 4 major ski areas ranging from 1.5 to 3 hours away. In addition, the Broadwater County Museum is located in Townsend and holds unique artifacts such as an authentic painted buffalo robe. A short drive of 35 minutes will get you to the state capital of Helena.
The Canyon Ferry Valley is rich with recreational opportunities! The lake spans for 25 miles leaving plenty of room to boat, fish, sport fish, sail, swim, water ski and more. It is proudly Montana’s 3rd largest body of water and a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. There are 24 recreation sites that are maintained by the Bureau of Reclamation. Fishing is phenomenal and you can reel in Trout, Salmon, Perch, and Walleye year round. When the snow flies, the lake is dotted with ice fishing huts and is also utilized for ice skating and ice boat sailing. In addition, there is the Canyon Ferry Wildlife Management Area that encompasses 5,129 acres. The goal of this area is to maintain the existing habitat and provide a place for wildlife viewing and hunting. Archery, shotgun, muzzleloader and traditional handgun can be used to hunt white-tailed deer and birds such as pheasants, ducks and Canada geese. The area is superb for viewing migratory or nesting birds such as Canada geese, double-crested cormorants, American white pelicans, Caspian tern and ospreys. White-tailed deer, beaver, raccoon, mink, red fox and sometimes otters and moose can be observed.
The area around Townsend, Montana is well-known for prominent elk hunting. The designated property lies within Hunting District 391 for deer/elk/lion. Elk herds have been caught on film by the landowner and are known to travel these areas and up along the Little Belt Mountains. Permits can be purchased for general deer license or general elk license to hunt brow-tined bull or antlerless elk. There is a specific season for hunting brow-tined bull elk on National Forest Land as well.