Ring the buzzer and the ferry operator will come over the Missouri to pick up you and your vehicle. The ride is free, but operated at your own risk. The Virgelle Ferry has successfully transported over 30,000 vehicles with a 50-foot-long steel frame with wooden planks and pulled by a power cable. The cable wraps once around the rear hub of a red tractor engine, protected by a little house. The ferry is also attached to a bridle cable, which keeps it from being pulled down river.
The Virgelle Ferry started in 1913 and today is a popular point of departure for canoeists floating this scenic stretch of the “Wild and Scenic” Missouri River. It is near the northernmost point of the Missouri . Just downstream is the site where steamboats once loaded coal dug from the nearby hills at Coal Banks landing. The ferry is seasonal operating from mid-April to mid-November, depending on the ice on the Missouri.
Virgelle offers historic accommodations, outfitting and shuttle services. Float the Missouri in a canoe, ride along the bank on horseback, or take a drive along scenic byways. further downstream, deep within the 'Missouri Breaks,' bighorn sheep and elk frequent the riverbank, along the Lewis and Clark Trail.
Virgelle is located in northcentral Montana, eight miles off of US Highway 87, northeast of Fort Benton.