Lesson Cornerstone Curriculum Content Standards: Science
Site Description Trails and Terrain
Wildlife Present On-Site Educational Programs
Seasons Access
Parking & Entrance to Site Google Earth Driving Directions Link
Group Size Limits Fees
Restrictions Site Services
Contact Information For Additional Site & Lesson Plan Information

Lesson Cornerstone:


Curriculum Content Standards: Science

(3) Students, through the inquiry process, demonstrate knowledge of characteristics, structures and function Whitefish Lake Institute Intrepretive Trailof living things, the process and diversity of life, and how living organisms interact with each other and their environment.
(5) Students, through the inquiry process, understand how scientific knowledge and technological developments impact communities, cultures and societies.

Site Description:

Partially completed in 2012, the Whitefish Lake Institute Interpretive Nature Trail explores an upland/wetland created when ancient Whitefish Lake inundated the area, depositing lacustrine sediments. The lacustrine sediments serve to form a shallow perched water table. Water cannot infiltrate through the clay sediment. As a result, an upland/wetland mosaic has formed on top with regionally unique flora (including skunk cabbage) and fauna. Viking Creek, one of the tributaries to Whitefish Lake, runs through the wetland. The trail crosses the creek over three small wooden bridges. This is an excellent area to learn about this wetland and its importance to Whitefish Lake.Whitefish Lake Institute Intrepretive Trail Photo

The project also provides an important lesson in how, through an open dialogue amongst diverse constituencies, a solution can be developed to allow economic expansion while protecting natural resources.

Trails and Terrain:

The trail is less than 2,000 feet and is signed. The terrain is flat, slightly rough. Small bridges have been built over the stream crossings.

Wildlife Present:

Deer, elk, moose, black bears, foxes, mountain lions, grouse, turkeys and raptors have been sighted.Whitefish Lake Institute Intrepretive Trail map

On-Site Educational Programs:

The trail offers interpretive signage, and a brochure is available for self-guided walks. Educational field trips are available through Whitefish Lake Institute.


May 1 through March 14 annually.


Access to the trailhead is from the parking lot.

The trail is wheelchair accessible.

Parking and Entrance to Site:

The trailhead and parking lot is located across from the Lodge at Whitefish Lake on Wisconsin Avenue, between Crestwood and Reservoir Drives on Nature Trail Road in Whitefish.

Google Earth Driving Directions:

Whitefish Lake Institute Interpretive Nature Trail

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Whitefish Lake Institute Interpretive Nature Trail 48.429832, -114.340302 Whitefish Lake Institute Interpretive Nature Trail


Group size limits:





No motorized vehicles, bicycles, pets, hunting, fishing or smoking.

Site services:

No restrooms. Benches and bear-resistant trash receptacles are available.

Contact Information:

Science and Education Director, Whitefish Lake Institute, 862-4327

For additional site and lesson plan information:

Whitefish Lake Institute

Project WET: Wetlands