By SILKE JAUCK
Fort Missoula is the perfect place for a leisurely afternoon stroll. Nestled between the Bitterroot River and South Avenue it is a quiet, green, and wide-open place.
Just outside the Historical Museum is a wooden box with a map which helps you navigate a self-guided tour. It makes for a nice and interesting walk. Start with the museum to learn more about the fort’s history.
Some of my favorite buildings are the old Post Hospital and Heritage Hall, which can be rented for weddings and other events. Further along, there are bat houses on the old Army rappelling tower.
The unusual shape of the Tipi-Burner always draws questions from out of town visitors. I had never seen one before and when I arrived in Missoula in 1993 the tipi burners had been shut down.
A walk through the Native Plant Gardens is a four season experience and shows you what native plants can grow in your yard.
This time of the year, the many fruit bearing shrubs and trees are active with the local bird population. The birds are quite fun to observe. The Native Plant Gardens boasts the largest Yellow Current shrub I have ever seen.
Throughout the year, Fort Missoula hosts several events to include like the annual Forestry Day in Spring.
The Native Plant Gardens Program has a calendar posted with programs and events that are worth checking out.
Last but not least, is the Historical Museum which offers lectures and organized tours.
Fort Missoula is easily reached by bicycle or the Mountain Line bus number 8 or 9 to the Community Medical Center.
Silke Jauck is a German native and Missoulian by choice. She and her family have packed and unpacked their suitcases and moving boxes in four continents and have finally settled in Missoula and called it home.
She lives with her husband, three daughters, and a dwarf rabbit in the Target Range neighborhood. Silke is the publisher of Friendship Book, a made-in-Montana keepsake and activity book for children ages 6-12. She also has a blog about life hacks at Silke Good Ideas, and you can visit her Make it Missoula blog archive.