We had a nice sunny day to head on up to go for a hike. While snow is still easy to find in Glacier National Park, we were hoping to find some dry trails. After going through a quick list, we decided that the South Boundary Trail would fit the bill. It is south facing and runs through lower elevation.
The trail runs along the south boundary of Glacier National Park and follows the Middle Fork Flathead River through the canyon. It’s a beautiful stretch of the river and the trail spends a lot of time next to it. The only biggest downsides are the highway and train tracks on the other side of the river.
The cool morning featured bluebird skies. We walked across the old, historic Belton Bridge, the original entrance to Glacier National Park. Once across the bridge, we came to the South Boundary Trail and took a right. We bounced between trees and along slopes exposed to the river. It’s high, green waters were making for some great rapids.
While we still don’t have a lot of our migratory birds such as warblers, we were able to see a lot of birds nonetheless. The beginning of the trail featured the beautiful, black-and-blue Steller’s Jays and lively Pine Siskins were a common theme.
Despite the noise of the trains passing and some car traffic, the walk was really pleasant. The sun heated up the air and we cruised along, past numerous seasonal streams, runoff from higher elevations. There are a couple of sections that climb up and over a knoll, so know that it’s not just a level stroll through the canyon. The views looking south to the forested mountains in the Middle Fork provide a nice backdrop as well.
Right before reaching Lincoln Creek, the trail travels across a wonderful bench covered in lodgepole pines. From there, it drops down into some old channels of the creek before the creek comes into view at the crossing. This time of year, they don’t have the suspension bridge up, but the creek was our destination anyway where we had lunch, watched the butterflies and the creek, then headed back.
On the way back, we encountered a couple of mangy Mule Deer and some more birds. While it’s not one of Glacier National Park’s premier hikes, the South Boundary Trail makes for a great spring hike while the high country is still under a blanket of snow.