The majestic huckleberry: Few fruits inspire so much passion.
For the most dedicated fans, their harvesting spots are a closely guarded secret. A hardy, versatile fruit, they’re great fresh or preserved. Even better, they’re part of the Northwest wilderness identity. It’s one of many reasons to save lands like the Scotchman Peaks for our children and grandchildren.
The huckleberry is so iconic, there’s an entire festival dedicated to its magical allure. Now in its 40th year, the Huckleberry Festival in Trout Creek is a centerpiece of the berry culture. Set to begin Friday, Aug. 9 and continuing through Aug. 11, the Huckleberry Festival packs all the fun and enthusiasm of the season into one weekend. Of course, the amazing food is nothing to ignore, either. We’re talking huckleberry ice cream, cheesecake, beverages and more.
What started as a small artist festival four decades ago is now one of western Montana’s most beloved summer staples. The festival features 100 arts and crafts vendors. A festival parade, 5K fun run, talent contest, auction, horseshoe tournament and more all add to the fun. It’s such a well-established event that Montana lawmakers declared Trout Creek the “Huckleberry Capitol of Montana” in 1981.
It’s also a perfect time to get the word out about our wild backyard. With a draw of hundreds, the festival is a great chance for FSPW volunteers to talk with others about why saving the wild Scotchmans is important to them.
It’s the perfect time of the year to celebrate the huckleberry. From July to September, bushes are heavy with ripe fruit. Longtime huckleberry harvesters have a sixth sense about when to hit the trails and check out their favorite spots. If you don’t have a harvest site—or maybe you’re new to the huckleberry altogether—then the Huckleberry Festival is the ideal place to learn.
To learn more about the Huckleberry Festival and other events Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness attends, visit www.scotchmanpeaks.org.