Tranquil Retreat: Thompson River Chain of Lakes
By GORDON and CATHIE SULLIVAN
A blanket of early morning fog hung in the air around us as we waited for the loons to wake up. Cathie bobbed quietly in her kayak about 100 feet from me, sipping warm coffee from an insolated mug, all the time her ear fixed toward a tiny island where the loons had built their nest.
There are not many places left in our busy world where the call of loons can still be heard, still relied on like clock work or the return of yesterday’s sun. But in northwest Montana the common loons – with their piercing ruby eyes and tuxedo-like black and white capes – have returned to Lower Thompson Lake every spring in recent memory.
The lake is a part of one Montana’s best kept secrets: The Thompson River Chain of Lakes. Like a brilliant string of emeralds, the lakes thread throughout 3,000 heavily forested acres pressed between the Salish Mountains to the north and the rugged Cabinet Mountains to the south.
Ready, Set, Go!: To the Thompson River Chain of Lakes
This set of 18 lakes can be found along Montana State Highway 2, sitting between Kalispell and Libby. The site includes 83 primitive campsites and 8 group campsites, all of which require a fee for overnight camping. Roads are primitive and not recommended for motor homes and large trailers. However, the 22 developed campsites at Logan State Park, located on Middle Thompson Lake, are suitable for large camping units.
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