Wetland and lake ecology
Curriculum Content Standards: Science
(3) Students, through the inquiry process, demonstrate knowledge of characteristics, structures and function of living things, the process and diversity of life, and how living organisms interact with each other and their environment.
Smith Lake, a 400-acre lake near Kila, is surrounded on three sides by wetland. It offers outstanding bird watching opportunities. The lake is also a part of the Smith Lake Waterfowl Production Area. The Rails to Trail trail that begins in Kalispell runs along the western edge of Smith Lake and the greater Smith Lake Waterfowl Production Area.
Trails and Terrain:
Along the western edge of Smith Lake and the Smith Lake Waterfowl Production Area runs a two mile paved portion of the Rails to Trail trail. The trail is flat and may be accessed at various points including by Kila School.
A variety of different bird species (waterfowl, bald eagles and loons) and different fish species in the lake (yellow perch, northern pike and rainbow trout) are present.
On-Site Educational Programs:
Hooked on Fishing and other educational programs are available through the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Open all year.
There is direct access from the fishing access site to the lakeshore.
The boat dock, packed gravel roads and vault toilet are ADA accessible.
Parking and Entrance to Site:
From Highway 2, turn onto Kila Road at the Smith Lake fishing access site sign. Continue left on Smith Lake Road. The Smith Lake fishing access site is on the left.
There is ample parking.
Google Earth Driving Directions:
Group size limits:
A special use permit may be required.
State parks are free for Montana residents. A special use permit may be required.
Picnic tables and a latrine are available at the Smith Lake fishing access site.
Biologist, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 752-5501.
For additional site and lesson plan information:
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks