Outdoor activities in Miles City are abundant. Fishing, hunting, bird watching, rock collecting, golf, or just taking a walk along the river can all be done within minutes of Miles City. We also throw some great events here. The World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale makes Miles City the rodeo capital of the world each third full weekend in May. Throw in Mosquito Festival and BBQ Cook-Off in June, Independence Day Celebration on July 4th, Eastern Montana Fair in August, the Bluegrass Festival in September, Wine & Food Festival in November, and the Christmas Stroll, plus many cultural events and fun activities throughout each year. You will see that there is always something to do in Miles City.
Miles City has great Parks!
Riverside Park, on the West end of Main Street, sits next to our Natural Oasis Swimming Pool, and the Connor’s Sports Complex. With a beautiful, and well-lit, walking path, this park provides activities for all ages. There’s a nice playground, lots of benches and picnic tables, a covered picnic area, new restrooms, and more. Many Miles City events and activities are based in the park; Weekly Farmer’s Market mid May through October, Quick Draw Art Auction during the Bucking Horse Sale, July 4th Celebration, High Plains Classic Car Show, and more.
Wibaux Park, between South Strevell Ave. and Winchester Avenue, was established in 1915 by Pierre Wibaux. The Froggy Kiddy Pool is the main summer attraction. It has a covered picnic area, restrooms, playground, picnic tables, and lots of green for your enjoyment.
Bender Park, on North Montana and Alice Streets, has 3 softball fields and a small playground.
Pumping Plant Park is located in the front yard of the WaterWorks Art Museum, at 85 Waterplant Rd. It is a beautiful park with lots of shade, concrete picnic tables, and horseshoe pits.
Area Places of Interest
- The Yellowstone Jewel
The Yellowstone Jewel is nestled in the historically significant Yellowstone River Valley. It’s only 7½ miles out of Miles City, Montana on Valley Drive East (Highway 10). The Yellowstone Jewel can also be reached by taking Exit #148 off Interstate 94. The trail leads you past the Buffalo Gap up to the high bluffs overlooking where General George Custer and the 7th Cavalry camped on June 15, 1876. You will enjoy boundless vistas of the Yellowstone River valley and beyond. For more information and history, visit their website
- Named for the Sioux chief who camped his people nearby, Spotted Eagle offers a perfect place for walks, non-motorized boating, swimming, picnics, fishing or a scenic drive. The site has picnic tables, grills, a trap and skeet shooting area, horseshoe pits, a nature trail and a snowmobile trail. Make sure to spend some time at this truly wonderful place. The entrance is behind the Eastern MT Fairgrounds on Garryowen Road and Pacific Avenue.
- Pirogue Island is located along the north bank of the Yellowstone River. It’s an excellent area for bird watching, fishing, and picnicking. Facilities include Interpretive Trail, latrine, benches, and picnic areas. To get there, take MT Hwy 59N one mile to the top of Yellowstone Hill and turn right on the Kinsey Hwy #489, for 2 miles. Follow the signs to Pirogue Island State Park.
- On the Baker road, MT Hwy 12 at the 12 mile marker, are the Strawberry Hills, a 4200 acre recreation area, great for hiking, climbing, and primitive camping. Be sure to watch for snakes and check for ticks.
- The highest point in the vicinity is Signal Butte (3,051 feet / 929.94 meters above sea level), said to have been used by native Americans for communication, but used for decades by radio and sometimes TV antennas. Signal Butte lies at the edge of an area of badlands, a striking arid vista of eroded sedimentary soil, sporting multi-colored layers exposed by the erosion. The land contains sandstone formations in the midst of sagebrush and cedar trees growing in a soil that turns to gumbo when wet.
- Airport Hill is the elevated bluff of the north bank of the Yellowstone River, and Paragon Pit is a remote area of the north bank opposite of Fort Keogh frequented by teenagers over the years.
- Twelve Mile Dam spans the Tongue River and attracts teens in the summer for water sport. Being shallow, the Tongue River is often used for tubing, fishing, and just enjoying.
- Shortly after the deaths of Colonel George Armstrong Custer and Colonel Myles Keogh, one of his officers at the Battle of the Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876, General Nelson A. Miles was sent to the area with orders to establish a fort. Miles selected a strategic site where the Yellowstone and Tongue Rivers meet from which to conduct a military campaign against the Indians. On July 22, 1876, Congress established the Fort Keogh Military Reservation. Miles succeeded in his mission – by the early 1880’s most of the tribes had surrendered and were moved onto reservations. In 1907, all infantry troops were removed, and 2 years later the fort became a remount station of the U.S. Army. Fort Keogh supplied thousands of horses for World War I. In 1924, the station was turned over to USDA. Since then it has been making history as a living laboratory for scientists developing management plans that improve beef production and ultimately meat quality. Today, 45 permanent employees are involved in research activities. Twelve are
with ARS, and 33 are with the Montana Agricultural Experiment Station.
- Across the highway from Fort Keogh is the site of a state fish hatchery, and nearby, a double humped butte is known locally as “Camelback”.
- Miles City lies at the mouth of the north flowing Tongue River as it empties into the eastward flowing Yellowstone River. Both rivers are fished regularly, but yield mostly catfish, carp and a junk fish known locally as “shiners”. Many local reservoirs are stocked with edible fish from the hatchery in Miles City.
- Matthews Recreation Area if great for bird watching, fishing, and wildlife viewing. You can launch canoes and kayaks on the Yellowstone River, but currently there is not a boat launch. Facilities include restrooms, picnic tables, fire pits, standing grills, interpretive kiosk, handicap-accessible fishing platform, and a cement walking path. It is a ‘pack-in, pack-out’ area. Take Hwy 10 east out of Miles City approximately 1 mile, then northeast 9 miles.
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