NEAR ULM — Finding things to do outside in Montana isn’t hard, but if you are looking for ideas First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park in Cascade County is an option.
"First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park is what we believe to be the largest buffalo jump in America,” said Alice Southworth, First Peoples Buffalo Jump and Tower Rock State Park Recreation Ranger.
While the actual jump is the highlight, it’s far from the only attraction.
"Native tribes used the cliff to get the bison they needed for survival, probably for thousands of years,” Southworth explained. "We do have a lot of interpretive signs that explain how jumps took place. We also have interpretive displays that talk about each of the native tribes that we can find in Montana today."
Kay Lakey decided to spend some time at the park while visiting family.
"My sister lives near here and we came out last year when the park was closed and we came back because we wanted to see it again,” said Lakey.
She said the history is what drew her to the park.
"I've always been curious about First Peoples because we didn't get that much information when we were in school as kids,” Lakey said.
"It just fascinates me on how they put all that together without the modern technology, how to research or how to use the buffalo jump. How to build drive lanes, how to process the animal,” said Southworth.
The park also hosts various events, including a kite festival, which had record attendance in 2022.
And coming up on August 13 and 14, the park’s mammoth hunt event will be held.
Visitors will have the opportunity to try out primitive hunting weapons.
“The big draw, of course, is the atlatl, which predates the bow and arrow. But we also have long bow shooting, tomahawk throwing, and this year we were able to bring in a few other demonstrations and activities,” Southworth explained.
Throughout the summer, the park offers the 10 week junior ranger program for kids 6-12 years old. Classes are held every Thursday.
“That can range anywhere from the environment to cultural aspects of the buffalo jump here,” said Southworth.
For more information about the park or to see what events are coming up, visit the park’s website.
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