Somers Beach State Park officially opened to the public on the northwest shore of Flathead Lake during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
A large crowd gathered for the celebration, including Montana Governor Greg Gianforte.
“A half-mile of beach on Flathead Lake now permanently protected and accessible to the public, this is a great day,” said Gianforte.
The new state park was years in the making and made possible by the Sliter family, which has owned the land since the 1930s.
“Deliver on the public's wishes through a very public process of input and thoughtful consideration to really make amazing things happen here in Somers,” said former landowner Andrea Sliter Goudge.
Sliter Goudge said her family worked tirelessly with MOntana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) and community organizations to make sure coveted shoreline on Flathead Lake remains open to the public.
She said her late father helped start this dream decades ago.
“He really felt like there would be a public outcry with as many limited spaces as there are for the public to access the water, and boy my dad would have been 75 yesterday, and dad, we made it happen,” added Sliter Goudge.
The 106-acre Somers Beach State Park is day-use only, all dogs must be on a leash, and fires are not permitted.
Construction of a designated parking lot and restrooms will begin in the coming weeks.
“Just looking at the opportunity to come here and spend the day as we do this stuff, it’s just amazing to me, it’s a beautiful part of the state and we might as well showcase it,” said Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Director Hank Worsech.
FWP director Hank Worsech said the park showcases the beauty of Flathead Lake and the giving spirit of Montanans.
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