Platted in 1901, Bigfork, MT is a charming village set on the NE shore of Flathead Lake at the mouth of the Swan River and is home to fine art galleries, gourmet restaurants of varied cuisine, unique shops, excellent accommodations and most services in a quaint western setting. Recently, the Bigfork Chamber of Commerce put together a neat little video about the area. After you’ve fell in love with Bigfork talk to us about moving here! We can show you great real estate and homes for sale to suit you in this special place. If you are looking to have a business here, there is some great commercial real estate in Bigfork.
Bigfork is unique in that it is unincorporated… that means that if you want something done, you do it yourself as there is no government to ask! That get is done attitude is often lead by the CFBB (Community Foundation for a Better Bigfork), and supported by various service organizations like Rotary Club of Bigfork (FB link), Lions Club, Masonic Lodge and Friends of Bigfork Schools. Such civic activity led Bigfork to be named one of the 100 best communities for young people in 2011 by the “America Promise Alliance” (chaired by Colin Powell).
The “locales” of Ferndale, Woods Bay, Swan Lake and north toward Creston are an extension of the village. Highway 35, also known as the Eastshore Route, offers a scenic drive south to Polson, MT overlooking beautiful Flathead Lake vistas through cherry orchards, and by lakefront homes both petite and grand. Southeast from Bigfork take the Swan Hwy (Hwy 83) and travel past Swan River, by Swan Lake into scenic Swan Valley south to Condon and Seeley Lake.
Neighborhoods to live in Bigfork … There are some specific neighborhoods closer into the village where you might want to live. Here are some neighborhoods to consider:
Bigfork is home to the Eagle Bend Golf Course, which has been rated by many as one of the most challenging and beautiful golf courses in the nation. The Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts is home to the Bigfork Summer Playhouse celebrated as one of the northwest’s finest repertory theaters for 50 years. The Center also hosts the Bigfork Playhouse Children’s Theater. Wayfarer’s State Park on the edge of Bigfork and on the shores of Flathead Lake has overnight camping and is also a great day spot with picnic tables, scenic rocky cliffs and a boat launch into Flathead Lake. The west entry to Glacier National Park is only a 45 minute scenic drive to the north. The Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort and Blacktail Mountain Ski Area are within an hour for beginning to expert downhill skiing and snowboarding. Just northeast of Bigfork near the entry to Jewel Basin is the Nordic Center with cross country trails. Run by a local family, Base Camp Dog Sledding, is a truly unique opportunity to experience dog sledding. Add a mix of speed and water and try wakeboarding lessons on Echo Lake with the Flathead Wakeboard Academy. Or, rent a boat and cruise out onto Flathead Lake for the day. Bigfork Water Sports offers an array of ski boats, wave runners, pontoon boats, and kayaks. Winter brings the annual Polar Bear Plunge (2013 photos) in nearby Woods Bay.
Bigfork Montana was voted as “One of the 50 Great Towns of the West” and designated as “One of the 100 Best Small Art Towns of the Nation.” Connect with the Bigfork Chamber of Commerce and the Bigfork Eagle (weekly local newspaper) to keep up-to-date on local happenings.
Bigfork Area Schools:
Bigfork Elementary, Middle and High School District …. News from and about Bigfork Schools
Notable: Bigfork Vikings win State Class B championship in 2010!
Swan River Elementary & Middle School – serving K-8 in rural Bigfork
Restaurants & Dining in Bigfork:
Scott, Diana and Kellie, with the rest of the locals of Bigfork, stop by the Garden Bar downtown on Electric Avenue for a great burger and a cold beer. Weekends are filled with live music in the back patio area. Don’t let the name fool you - Brookies Cookies (FB link) by day is cookies, pastries and coffee, but by night is fashioned for evening entertainment with a combination of sitting around the campfire with nightlife… its really hard to describe – You just gotta drop in for drinks, music and great conversation overlooking the rushing Swan River’s wild mile.
For upscale eating, dine in the old bank building at Showthyme, or classic dining at Grill 459 on the 2nd floor above Electric Avenue. Chris’s Tea Cottage offers a spot of High Tea on the deck. Breakfast die-hards eat at the Echo Lake Cafe in “rural” Bigfork or the new kid of the block – Pocketstone Cafe on Electric Ave where Diana says the hot chocolate and Biscuits n Gravy are most divine. There are diehard fans of Mexican food at El Topo or the more casual Taco Mexico. If you want to take a scenic drive before dining, spend a few minutes getting out of town, down the eastshore, for a seat on the deck overlooking Flathead Lake at The Raven; with a slogan like “Sleep, Eat, Drink” you know you won’t have to worry about driving home if you don’t want to. Further down is barbecue at the East Shore Smoke House or an intimate lakefront meal during the summer season at Many Springs Flathead Lake Resort (Hint – its best to make reservations).
Pizza, as usual, deserves its own paragraph starting with award winning When In Rome, where you can pick it up by the slice or the pie. Take out is quick with family owned Rosa’s Pizza at the south end of town. For wood fired style pizza choose Riley’s Pub & Sports Bar at Mountain Lake Lodge in Woods Bay.
Kellie fulfills her daily java jolt and conversation with the owner, Trish, of Buzz n’ Bagels. While she’s making up your favorite latte concoction in her little red trailer, you can view the scenic Swan Range on Hwy 35 just north of Bigfork.
Whew… I’m hungry now!