The travel time between major destinations can be lengthy when touring western Montana, so it pays to plan ahead and a few chart points of interest along the way to breakup the monotony. Great Falls is a crossroads city where several tourism routes intersect and this spot on the map definitely is a good place to take a break from the road because there is plenty to experience along the Missouri River in this area. Several city parks and duck ponds are located along the river banks, while Giant Springs State Park can be found on the eastern edge of town. A lot of Lewis & Clark history was made in the Great Falls area and some interesting interpretive sites are located along the waterway they made famous long ago. Of course there are several dams and waterfalls to explore along this section of the river and one of the most picturesque is Black Eagle Falls, which is located next to Black Eagle Memorial Island.
Black Eagle Memorial Island is now managed as a city park, but this site was originally the first hydroelectric dam power plant facility built in Great Falls way back when electricity was novel and new. Black Eagle Falls is the first in a series of five Missouri River waterfalls that give this city its name and it is one of the most spectacular to view. The river cut through deep layers of sandstone to expose the hard bedrock in this area and as a result, the bedrock slabs appear as platforms of varying heights, which create a marvelous waterfall to gaze upon. There are several scenic overlooks along River Drive that offer unobstructed views, so be sure to check it out when passing through!
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