GREAT FALLS — If you’d like to take a shot at snowshoeing the U.S. Forest Service offers free snowshoes to Montanans at both the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest office in Great Falls and the Belt Creek Ranger District Office in Neihart.
For around 14 years now, various organizations have supplied snowshoes to the office in Great Falls, such as the Montana Wilderness Association and Bighorn Outdoor Specialists.
This way people can check out snowshoes for three-day periods - completely free.
The Forest Service office in Great Falls has around 40 pairs of shoes in various sizes.
Dave Cunningham, one of the officials involved with snowshoe rental, said this service is intended to help people embrace the cold weather instead of bracing themselves against it.
“One of the reasons why we make these available is just to help folks get out and enjoy the forest in the wintertime,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham added that snowshoeing is a pastime fit for the whole family.
“If you can walk, you can snowshoe. And if we have three different sizes of snowshoe, we can help the whole family pretty much. And so it's something we can do that's accessible to people,” Cunningham said.
If you'd like to check out a pair of snowshoes you can do so in person at the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest f office in Great Falls or at the Belt Creek Ranger District in Neihart.
Checkout is on a first come first serve basis as no individual reservations are allowed. However, you can call to inquire about a reservation for a large group.
The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest’s Great Falls office is located at 1220 38th Street North. For more information, call 406-791-7700.