Clearwater Canoe Trail is exceptional 1 to 2 hour canoe trip that flows through a dense willow marsh on an isolated portion of the Clearwater River. There's an information board with maps at the put-in. The float offers an outstanding opportunity to view warblers, nesting common loons, bitterns, catbirds, snipes, great blue herons, belted kingfishers, and common goldeneyes. Western painted turtles, large trout, muskrats, beavers, and dragonflies are common. Great place for kids and adults alike. The last part of the trip crosses the north end of Seeley Lake. A 30-minute return-hiking trail winds by the river and wetlands, eliminating shuttle problems and providing viewing access for non-floaters. On the trail, be sure to stop at the wildlife viewing blind, which allows great close-up views of waterfowl, yellow-headed blackbirds, sandhill cranes, and marsh-loving songbirds. Brochures about the canoe trail are available at the Seeley Lake Ranger Station.
Directions: From Seeley Lake, drive 4 miles north on Montana Highway 83. Turn west at the Clearwater Canoe Trail sign and proceed 0.5 mile to the put-in. The canoe take-out and start of the return trail are at the Seeley Lake Ranger Station.
Clearwater Canoe Trail
Lolo National Forest, Seeley Lake, MT 59868