Wild Horse Island: A real treasure in state park system

Straight from the Horse's Heart

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 Horses graze on a ridge of Wild Horse Island high above Flathead Lake earlier this summer. Photo Kurt Wilson/Missoulian
DAYTON – Wild Horse Island State Park on Flathead Lake is one of the real treasures of Montana’s state park system.

To make a perfect summer day, you can sail or kayak to the massive, mostly undeveloped island and swim, fish, hike or watch wildlife to your heart’s content. The island is three miles long, but is very hilly and the landscape alternates between grassland and forest.

At 2,164 acres, Wild Horse Island is the largest freshwater lake island west of Minnesota. Salish and Kootenai Indians are thought to have used the island to keep their horses from being stolen by other tribes. Today, a population of about five wild horses, a herd of mule deer and about 100 bighorn sheep inhabit the island.

Since it…

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