The region just upstream from Lewistown, is an area known as Brewery Flats. (View City Trails Map) Big Spring Creek, at the current Brewery Flats location, was straightened in the early 1900’s to create room for a railroad yard and other industries. It is named for the brewery that once occupied the space now occupied by the Honey Farm.
In 1998, a stream restoration project moved the creek back to its meandering route and restored natural habitat in the area. Today the channel resembles the creek that flowed there before the settlement of the town and follows a course that is 50 percent longer than the original. With calm, deep pools at each creek bend, rainbow and brown trout now linger and natural aquatic life can thrive.
The 79-acre area is owned by the City of Lewistown and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. It provides great outdoor recreation opportunities with grassy flats, riparian habitats full of cattails and willows thickets bordering the stream banks. A popular location for wildlife viewing and nature enthusiasts, walkers and runners, the 2 mile-long smooth, flat loop trail is suitable for users of all ages. Local school teachers have adopted it as an ideal outdoor classroom and in the summer months the creek is a scenic route for floaters. The Brewery Flats Fishing Access Site is located 1 mile south of Lewistown on Highway 238 and is for day use only.
With year-round access, the Brewery Flats trail connects with a larger trail system that weaves it way through Lewistown, following the former railroad bed of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.
Brewery Flats offers four parking lots, an outhouse, the Turner Center, a bird watching platform and interpretive signs about the local history.
Written by Abby Majerus, updated October 12, 2020, by Friends of Lewistown Trails.
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