Columbia Falls has a number only-in-Columbia-Falls attractions that are hard to categorize, including a few unusual historic sites. We've detailed these unique attractions below. If you need more information, give us a call. We'll be glad to help.
Soldiers' Home Historic District
Address: Columbia Falls, MT
Distance from us: 2.2 miles
Soldiers' Home Historic District is a historic district that served as an old-soldiers' campus. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this district has nine buildings and covers 147 acres. It was established in the 1890s on land donated by a branch of the Great Northern Railway. The original building served veterans of the Civil War and various Indian wars. The grounds also include a large cemetery, with graves of soldiers from the Civil War to Korea. Widows of soldiers are buried there, as well.
Obviously, Soldiers' Home Historic District is a great place to visit for its historical significance. It's also interesting from an architectural standpoint. The buildings are excellent examples of a variety of architectural styles, including Victorian era and Colonial Revival.
Depot Park is home to a historic Shay Locomotive, one of the few still on display in the country. Shay locomotives were geared and powered by steam. This particular locomotive was built for the Great Northern Railway in 1914, and used to transport lumber when in use. Kids will get a kick out of exploring the train, as will railroad enthusiasts.
Depot Park is located near the edge of Columbia Falls, at the intersection of Nucleus Avenue and Railroad Street. It's open 24 hours a day.
Glacier National Park and the Flathead Valley have a multitude of attractions. Choosing from all the possibilities can be a daunting task. Glacier Institute is designed to help you choose the things that matter most. They provide educational guided hikes that will help you get the most out of your trip to our area. You can choose from hikes to specific locations, like Avalanche Lake, or hikes designed to expose you to particular sights, such as alpine wildlife, wildflowers, or fall colors. Guided hikes are geared toward adults, kids, or families.
Glacier Institute also has a variety of nature courses, summer camps, and personalized tours available for all age levels. The institute is a non-profit organization and an official partner of Glacier National Park and a long-time partner of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department.
Glacier Institute is made up of three structures: The Glacier Institute in Columbia Falls, Glacier Field Camp in Glacier National Park, and Big Creek Outdoor Education Center close to West Glacier. The field camp and outdoor education center can be rented out for custom programs or conferences.
St. Richard Church was originally constructed in 1891. It was the first church built in Northwestern Montana and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The church was originally a Catholic church and part of the Diocese of Helena. The church also served as the first public school in Columbia falls. The building is an excellent example of Gothic Revival architecture and features beautiful stained glass windows in arched Gothic designs. Today, the structure is privately owned, but it's still worth taking a look at (from outside, of course) if you're in the area.