Viking Creek Wetland Nature Preserve
The Viking Creek Preserve is a 30 acre nature preserve that protects the native wildlife of the area, as well as the wetlands that naturally filter the water going into Whitefish Lake. The preserve was donated to the non-profit Whitefish Lake Institute in 2009 by the Averill Family to forever preserve the waters of the Viking Creek tributary that feed into the lake. Whitefish is one of the few communities in the region that relies solely on surface water for it’s indigenous water supply, making these wetlands vital in their ability to purge water impurities as they filter into Whitefish Lake. Available to the community is a half-mile interpretive nature trail that meanders through the preserve. The entrance to the trail is located behind the Viking Lodge and loops back to this starting point, or to two other trail heads located nearby.
Strategically placed, motion-activated cameras within the preserve have captured numerous shots of local wildlife in their natural state since 2009. From black bear to moose, to mountain lions and more, the Viking Creek Preserve is home to many Montana-native creatures. Check the gallery below to find some of these incredible shots. To see more images caught on these cameras, view the year to year galleries at Whitefish Lake Institute. If you would like to learn more about the native wildlife of Montana, check the Montana Field Guides.