If a “simpler way of life,” and a “less corporate” way of living is what you're seeking, come to Townsend, Montana. Once you arrive, it won't take long to see why this picturesque Montana town is called the “Valley of Adventure.” Here you'll find small-town charm, friendly locals, and spectacular natural landscapes that are nature's quintessential playground. Time seems to slow down here when you're coming from the outside world, but that doesn't mean there's a shortage of things to do. In fact, quite the opposite is true. With places to sleep, shop, eat, and play while you're visiting, (and ultimately, once you move here), you'll never sit around twiddling your thumbs in Townsend.
Townsend's Evolution Over Time
Like many places in the area, Townsend was established as a mining town in the 1800s. The town was part of the route followed by famous explorers Lewis and Clark. Although the intrepid pair passed through the town in 1805, however, the town wasn't officially incorporated until the mid-1800s, when it was selected as a base for gold miners due to its abundance of lucrative natural resources. In support of the gold mining operations, a railway station and small businesses began to spring up in the area. Once Townsend had the foundations of a “real” town, and it had more promise than just a pass-through point, it was given a name. Its name was chosen to honor the wife of Charles B. Wright, who was the president of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company in the late 1800s.
Although the Gold Rush came and went, Townsend's appeal never wavered. Today, it's home to about 2,000 residents, who are proud to call this special town home. One major benefit of Townsend is that it is strategically located within easy reach of Montana's larger cities and popular recreation areas. From here, it only takes about 35 minutes to reach Helena MT, and you can make it to Bozeman in an hour. The beautiful Missouri River, which is a hotspot for both fishing and water activities, is virtually right in Townsend's back yard. Canyon Ferry Lake, another popular recreation area, is just a 15-minute drive from town. Job opportunities are available in the nearby cities, which means the sky's the limit when it comes to employment options. But if you'd prefer to work closer to home, there are job openings right in Townsend, too. Agriculture, mining, and timber are some of the major industries in the area. There's also a modern health center in town and quality schools, which support residents' needs and offer employment opportunities as well. The town has a welcoming attitude towards small businesses, which means that you'll be well-received here if you have an entrepreneurial spirit.
Seeing The Sights In And Around Townsend
Whether you're coming for a day or just moving to town, there is a wealth of things to see and do. Your biggest dilemma will be deciding where to begin! Year-round, one essential activity that I recommend in Townsend is checking out the local shops downtown. The welcoming store owners are proud to show you their beautiful handmade goods and crafts. You might find stores selling souvenirs, clothing, household items, and antiques. Given the area's popularity for outdoor living and sports, you'll also find sporting goods stores, such as fishing stores, equestrian supply stores, and stores selling outdoor gear. The arts and cultural scene is vibrant in Townsend, as evidenced by the number of museums, art galleries, and historic sites in the area.
After a day of shopping, or if you need a pick-me-up in between visiting stores, there are many wonderful places to grab a bite to eat and drink. Taverns, diners, bars, and quaint cafes are all options in Townsend, which guarantees something for every palette. Since agriculture is an important part of the state's economy, you'll find restaurants in town that serve delicious farm-to-table cuisine using fresh, local, and seasonally available ingredients. If you've never tried game meat before, Townsend is the perfect place to do so. And of course, you'd be missing out to not sample a local beer while you're here, as Montana is known for its delicious craft beers. For the early morning risers, the smell of freshly brewed coffee and baked goods, fresh out of the oven, will lure you to one of the town's exceptional bakeries.
If outdoor sports and recreation are right up your ally, you're in luck, as it's easy to get outside and get some fresh air throughout the year. Along with providing a picturesque backdrop for Townsend, the mountain ranges bordering the town are an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. To the west of town are the Elkhorn Mountains, while the Big Belt Mountains are on the eastern side. In both places, you'll find challenging hiking and mountain biking trails during the warmer months of the year. When the trails become covered in snow, they are used for skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. Traveling just 15 minutes from town, you'll reach the Canyon Ferry Lake, which is a place I recommend going in all seasons. The lake is part of the Canyon Ferry Valley, which is one of the top recreational destinations in the state. The lake appeals to many different people, as it is a combined hunting and general recreation area. Sport fishing and hunting are popular activities at Canyon Ferry, as are water activities like sailing, swimming, and water skiing. In the wintertime, when the lake freezes over, it's used for ice skating, ice boat sailing, and ice fishing.
In between shopping, dining, and playing outside, you'd be missing out to not attend one of Townsend's year-round events. Throughout town, you'll always find a good concert or performance to attend. In the summer months, you'll be able to get fresh produce and homemade products from local vendors at the town's ever-popular farmers market. The market is a great place to socialize with friends and neighbors. It's also a prime opportunity to meet the hardworking farmers who supply fresh herbs, produce, meat, and dairy for your family, friends, and the local restaurants. Along with food and homemade goods, the farmers market features plants, flowers, and the items you need to successfully start (or add to) an indoor or outdoor garden. Within a short driving distance, you can also take advantage of some of the large regional farmers markets, such as the one in Helena MT. You'll also find great concerts in the adjacent cities and other family-friendly events like classic car shows, fairs, and food and crafts festivals.
Outside of Townsend itself, you'll find even more things to do in beautiful southwestern Montana. This stunning part of the state is home to many wonderful natural landmarks and attractions, including both Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. Unlike many places, where there is a divide between “local” and “tourist” activities, these places are a popular destination for both Montana's residents and visitors. In fact, the drive between the two national parks is so spectacular, it is a favorite recreational activity for those who call southwestern Montana home. There are also a number of great attractions in between the parks, including infinite recreational opportunities and historic landmarks, so you can easily make an adventure out of traveling between them. You'll also pass by some of Montana's other quaint towns, such as Philipsburg. Philipsburg is a destination for those with a sweet tooth thanks a place called The Palace. This famous store put the town on the radar of foodies for its exceptional handmade chocolate, fudge, caramels, and candy.
Where To Stay In Townsend
When you're vacationing in Townsend, I recommend one of several places to stay. You can't go wrong, as all are quite welcoming! Year-round, there are several comfortable motels and hotels in the area. In the warmer months, several RV sites and campgrounds just outside of town are a cost-efficient way to stay here while on vacation. If you want a true “Western” experience while in town, I suggest booking a room at one of the nearby ranches. Depending on where you stay, you may be able to get a hands-on feel for ranching by participating in daily ranch activities! Ranches are an especially popular option for people visiting for a special occasion, such as a wedding, corporate retreat, or family reunion. Along with having plenty to do while staying on a ranch, many ranch owners are happy to point out some fun things to see and do while you're in the area. This is a great way to become familiar with the region, meet some locals, and decide if Townsend is right for you!
Moving To Townsend
Perhaps, after hearing about the great quality of life, wealth of activities, and small-town charm, you're ready to move here. If you've made that decision, congratulations! I look forward to helping make that happen for you. As a prospective new resident, you'll be happy to know that there are a variety of housing options in town. Since farming and agriculture are a big part of the region's economy, you'll find working ranches and farms for sale that are ready for personal and commercial use. As you'd expect from any small town, there are also a number of single-family homes available, both in the center of town and further out in more rural surroundings. Modern ranch-style homes are some of the most common types of houses you will find in the area. However, there are also some log cabin and timber frame homes on the market, too. If you'd prefer to start from scratch, there are also plenty of opportunities to find land for sale that's suitable for a residence, farm, ranch, and more. Based on current statistics, the median income among Townsend residents is just under $44,000, and the median value of a single-family home is about $132,000. Whatever you envision as your dream home, I can help make that happen. Just contact my company, which is Most Wanted Real Estate. All you have to do is let me know what kind of real estate you're looking for, and I'll take care of the rest.
As you can see, there are a number of things you can look forward to in Townsend. Being a proud resident here gives you the best of everything, as you'll be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of small-town living while also having easy access to Montana's most vibrant cities. If you can imagine working nearby, ending each day watching the sun set over snow-capped mountains, having a fun and inviting downtown center at your fingertips, and spending time with welcoming neighbors, Townsend is the place for you.