Beavertail State Park
Photo courtesy: Beaverhill State Park
Clinton is an old mining and lumber town. Ore deposits were discovered in 1889 and the Charcoal Mine yielded thousands of dollars worth of lead and silver. The name Clinton was chosen that year in honor of Henry Clinton. Originally, the place had been known as a Betters' Station. It was started as a stage station on the Mullan Road in 1883 and named for Austin Betters, a homesteader. The Northern Pacific Railroad men first called this place Wallace. At different times the settlement was also called Pine Grove (which was very descriptive) and Blossberg. (from Cheney's Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company)
Near Clinton off I-90, Beavertail Hill State Park has one-half mile of Clark Fork River frontage that provides fishing and floating opportunities. Camping, picnicking, and wildlife viewing are also popular here. The area contains developed campsites, and tipi rentals are available. There is also a one-hour walking nature trail through a thick canopy of cottonwoods.
For a true wilderness experience, you can explore the nearby Welcome Creek. The land rises gently from the main Sapphire Range Divide and then drops abruptly to form breaks that are surprisingly steep and rough. Welcome Creek contains densely forested slopes, exposed ridges, and deep canyons. Welcome Creek Trail is a long flat trail for about 5 miles into the Welcome Creek Wilderness with a swinging bridge across the creek. The trail follows the creek the whole way up until it climbs up the steep rocky divide. There's an old miner's cabin and old growth forest along the creek.
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