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Dillon Field Office
Release Date: 04/07/10
Contacts: David Abrams 406-533-7617    

Construction Work Begins Soon On BLM’s Madison River Recreation Sites

Several popular recreation sites along the Madison River will see improvements as the Bureau of Land Management’s Dillon Field Office begins its summer construction season.

Palisades, Windy Point, and Warm Springs are among the BLM recreation sites whose facilities are scheduled for upgrades. As a result of the construction work, the sites will be closed for short periods of time, impacting visitor use.

“We will need to close the sites at various times so that our contractor crews can work as fast as possible,” said Tim Finger, Outdoor Recreation Planner. “While there may be some short-term inconvenience with the closures, the long-term goal is to provide the public with improved sites and better recreation experiences and opportunities.”

If construction can be completed sooner than the estimated dates, Finger added, then the sites will be re-opened; and if bad weather or other factors delay construction, the closures may have to be extended.

For more information, contact Finger at (406) 682-4082.  

Warm Springs Recreation Site

Located on the lower Madison River beside Montana State Highway 84, about six miles east of Norris, Warm Springs Recreation Site will be closed from the last week of April through the end of May.

This popular recreation site is the main place for launching innertubes on the lower Madison River and floating downstream to the Black's Ford Recreation Site. It is also popular with fishermen and other boaters, including rafters and kayakers coming down from the Kitchen Sink Rapids in Bear Trap Canyon.  The site currently has restrooms, changing rooms, boat- and innertube-launching ramps.

During the spring closure, contractors will completely pave the existing gravel parking lot. Finger said other improvements, such as new innertube-launching ramps, may be worked on by BLM staff after the paving is done and the site is reopened.

While crews are working on Warm Springs Recreation Site, Finger suggests people use the other developed BLM and Montana State Fish, Wildlife and Parks recreation sites located nearby (Canaday, Black's Ford, Trapper Springs or Red Mountain).

There is also an undeveloped /unnamed recreation site about one mile downstream from the Warm Springs Recreation Site where the BLM will provide portable restrooms and make it available for hand-launched innertubes and rafts only. Visitors are asked to follow the signs to the main parking lot and, for their safety, to not park along the entrance road or on the side of Highway 84.  There will be no trash collection or overnight camping.  Finger cautions that this is not BLM land and there is only a temporary agreement in place with the landowner for the public to use the site which is based on keeping the area clean and safe.

“We ask the public to please respect the landowner’s rights and help out as much as possible,” he said.
Windy Point Recreation Site

Windy Point Recreation Site is located on the upper Madison River adjacent to US Highway 287, about 28 miles south of Ennis. The recreation site, which was recently rebuilt with improved boat launching, parking, and a restroom, will be further completed by paving the parking lot, access road, and the loading/unloading area. The site will be closed from mid-May through early June.

Windy Point is particularly popular with fishermen using this stretch of the river for loading and unloading boats and equipment. Visitors can use other sites in the area as an alternative but should be aware that float times on the river may have to be changed while construction work is taking place at Windy Point and the nearby Palisades Recreation Site. 

Palisades Recreation Site

Located on the upper Madison River approximately 30 miles south of Ennis, just off of Highway 287, Palisades Recreation Site is a fully-developed site which currently includes a campground and day-use area with picnic tables, fire grills, water, restrooms, parking lots and a boat-launch ramp.

In response to the amount of public use, the BLM is significantly re-designing this site by increasing the size of the campground and the day-use parking. Other improvements include paving the road and the day-use site, rebuilding the boat launch and adding additional infrastructure. Palisades will be closed from the beginning of June through the beginning of September.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Dillon Field Office   1005 Selway Drive      Dillon, MT 59725   

Last updated: 06-28-2012