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Trail Information

Lolo National Forest Canoe Trail Clearwater River Sign on Hwy 83 north of Seeley Lake, Montana
Lolo Nat'l Forest Canoe Trail Clearwater River Sign Hwy 83



Lilly pads on north end of Seeley Lake, Montana
Clearwater River Canoe Trail
Clearwater River Canoe Trail is exceptional 1 to 2 hour canoe trip that flows through a dense willow marsh on an isolated portion of the Clearwater River. This is one of the most popular 'trails' in the Seeley Lake Ranger District. Although being a canoe trail, motorized boat use is allowed at a no-wake speed while on the Clearwater River portion of the trail.

The 3.5 mile distance can be canoed at a leisurely pace in about 2 hours. There's an information board with maps at the "put-in". The float offers an outstanding opportunity to view warblers, nesting common loons, bitterns, catbirds, snipes, great blue herons, belted kingfishers, and common goldeneyes. Western painted turtles, large trout, muskrats, beavers, and dragonflies are common. Great place for kids and adults alike. The last part of the trip crosses the north end of Seeley Lake. A 30-minute return-hiking trail winds by the river and wetlands, eliminating shuttle problems and providing viewing access for non-floaters. On the trail, be sure to stop at the wildlife viewing blind, which allows great close-up views of waterfowl, yellow-headed blackbirds, sandhill cranes, and marsh-loving songbirds. Brochures about the canoe trail are available at the Seeley Lake Ranger Station.

There is parking at the trailhead for approximately 6 vehicles and an outdoor toilet is also provided. There is no drinking water available. Visitors are reminded to practice 'Leave No Trace' techniques while canoeing, hiking and picnicking in the area. Click on pictures for larger images.
North end of Seeley Lake
 
  (↑) Sign  just past the Clearwater Canoe Trail put-in location 5/5/17 for the Wildlife Viewing Blind & the Viewing Blind Trailhead 1.5 miles.
Can you spot the deer? (click to enlarge)
Clearwater Canoe Trail Landing & sign behind the Lolo Nat'l Forest Service Ranger Station off of Hwy 83 just north of the town of Seeley Lake, MT Near the end of the road to the Clearwater Canoe Trail put-in  5/5/17 Seeley Lake Montana Signs at the Clearwater Canoe Trail put-in location 5/5/17 Seeley Lake Montana
Clearwater Canoe Trail Landing & sign behind the Lolo Nat'l Forest Service Ranger Station off of Hwy 83 just north of the town of Seeley Lake, MT Near the end of the road to the Clearwater Canoe Trail put-in  5/5/17 Signs at the Clearwater Canoe Trail put-in location 5/5/17