786± ACRES

Combining everything central Montana has to offer, the 786± deeded acres of  Forest Grove Retreat boast over 2.5± miles of the South Fork of McDonald Creek, sweeping mountain views, lush hay meadows, big game and upland bird hunting, new improvements and multiple scenic building sites.



The Forest Grove Retreat is a rarity in the highly sought-after 411 hunting district just 20 minutes from Lewistown with over 2.5 miles of the south fork of McDonald Creek and spanning views of the Little Snowy Mountains, Judith Mountains, and the unmistakable Black Butte. This ranch offers a diverse and healthy habitat for big game, upland birds, turkey, and waterfowl alike.  Prospective Buyers will appreciate the newly built barn and new interior and exterior barbed wire fence lines throughout the entire ranch. This property is ready to immediately support cattle or other livestock. Debatably the best attribute of the property will be the 150± acres of productive sub-irrigated hay fields that meander adjacent to South McDonald Creek. These 786± acres combine everything central Montana has to offer.

  • 786± deeded acres just 20 minutes SE of Lewistown, MT
  • Approximately 2.5 miles of meandering South Fork of McDonald Creek frontage on both sides
  • 150± acres of subirrigated lush hay meadows
  • Rich riparian area providing excellent habitat for wildlife
  • Situated in the infamous 411 elk hunting district
  • Home to elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, upland birds, waterfowl, turkey, black bear, and numerous other small and medium size wildlife species
  • A new functional 30 ft x 60 ft pole barn plus working corrals, high fenced hay yard,  new interior and boundary fence lines
  • Diverse wooded draws with large established aspen groves, healthy pine trees, and colorful chokecherry bushes
  • Spanning views of the Little Snowy Mountains, the Judith Mountains and the unmistakable Black Butte
  • Multiple stock watering amenities including direct from South McDonald Creek, spring collection tanks, and a new propane powered well with two tanks and a float switch 


Located a quick 20-minute drive southeast of Lewistown on a well-maintained road and accessible all year, Forest Grove Retreat is perfectly situated in the shadows of the Little Snowy Mountains. While the location gives you a sense of privacy with plenty of elbow room, the drive to town for any and all amenities is short and simple. A property of this size with this much diversity within a reasonable commute to Lewistown is hard to find in today’s market.  Lewistown Municipal Airport can accommodate a wide variety of private aircraft and offers a full FBO service. Billings Logan International Airport is located just 2 hours away and offers commercial flights while the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport is located 2.5 hours away, the largest airport in the state of Montana. 


The Forest Grove Retreat earns its namesake due to its proximity overlooking the historical homestead area of Forest Grove. At the junction of Tyler Creek and McDonald Creek, the grove of dense forest trees found in the fertile valley was home to a thriving ranching community. The homesteaders of 1885 ran large flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. By 1913, the town had a new public school and a community center. Livestock, grain, hay, and timber were all industries that supported the families for generations. Today, the post office is still in operation, as well as the community meeting center, historical church, and cemetery. 


Perfectly positioned in the center of Montana, Lewistown is a family-friendly community that combines the ambiance of Montana’s natural beauty with the authenticity of our rural western lifestyle. Lewistown has a true four-season climate, with an abundance of events, activities and recreation to keep you busy no matter the weather. The surrounding farm and ranch lands provide a rich base for a solid agricultural economy. A strong hub of construction and manufacturing businesses provides diverse employment opportunities. A growing healthcare industry is stimulating a demand for jobs in the local medical markets. With spring-fed Big Spring Creek quietly meandering through town and mountain ranges encircling the community, a multitude of recreational opportunities are readily available. Easy access to public lands and plentiful rivers, lakes, and streams ensure world-class hunting, year-round fishing, and plenty of choices for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and more. Lewistown is an agricultural community located at the geographic center of Montana in the vast Judith Basin. The town features many well-preserved historic businesses and homes. Although mostly rolling prairie, farms, and ranches, the Lewistown area features five beautiful mountain ranges, the Snowies, the Judiths, the Moccasins, the Belts, and the Highwoods from which grand 100-mile vistas stretch out below. Picturesque landscapes, mountain terrain, and small quiet towns typify the area.



Famous for its trophy elk and sizable white-tailed and mule deer populations, the 411 hunting district is a highly sought-after location for big game and bird hunters alike. The Little Snowy region and this area in particular is home to a large transitory elk herd with trophy-sized bulls harvested every year. The combination of tree covered draws, improved forage resources, vast year-round water supply, and diverse topography provides a thriving wildlife habitat. With a rich riparian area of the South Fork of McDonald Creek, the Forest Grove Retreat also supports healthy populations of upland bird and waterfowl species including pheasants, turkey, sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian partridge, ducks, and geese.


Big Spring Creek, Lewistown

The most notable local fishery is Big Spring Creek, one of Montana’s best-kept secrets. At 30 miles long, it is the largest spring creek in the state and the third-largest spring creek in the world. The creek originates from a first-magnitude artesian spring and runs through Central Montana passing through Lewistown. Big Spring Creek is on average 38 feet wide and 18 inches deep, provides 99.9% pure, ice-cold water, and is fishable year-round. The creek runs through Lewistown and also in a channel underneath the town, providing a fresh water supply. The waterway has long been a part of Montana’s history, used as a campground during the Nez Perce war in 1877, irrigation for Lewistown and power for a flour mill in the early 1900’s and host to a WPA trout hatchery in the 1930’s. Today, the creek is best known for trout fishing, with anglers landing rainbow trout up to 16 inches and brown trout up to 19 inches in the estimated 1,500 catchable fish per mile.

Judith River

Just west of Lewistown, the Judith River is home to diverse fish populations including brook, rainbow, and brown trout. Starting in the Little Belt Mountains, it flows for 125 miles to the confluence with the Missouri River. In the upper stretches, the Judith River flows through some wide, scenic agricultural valleys that are flanked by the scenic Little Belt Mountains. Following this, the Judith flows through the broad and arid plains on its way to the Missouri River.

Missouri River

Located 1 hour north of Lewistown and nicknamed, “the Mighty Mo”, the Missouri River is a popular destination for those in search of walleye and blue ribbon trout fishing. According to Central Montana Tourism, “The Missouri River 529,350 encompasses square miles and it flows 2,341 miles from its headwaters at the confluence of the Gallatin, Madison, and Jefferson Rivers in the Rocky Mountains at Three Forks, Montana, to its confluence with the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri. The Wild and Scenic Missouri River designation is a spectacular Montana valley with striking rock formations and diverse flora and fauna. The Wild and Scenic Missouri River stretches 149 miles from Fort Benton to BLM’s Kipp Recreation Area north of Grass Range. Visitors enjoy scenic vistas that remain much as first described by Lewis and Clark in 1805. The Missouri River was the major water route to the Rocky Mountain west from the time of Lewis and Clark until the arrival of the railroads in the late 1800’s.”

Fort Peck Lake Reservoir and Crooked Creek

At the West end of the famous Fort Peck Reservoir, the Crooked Creek area is a frequent destination for fishermen after sizable walleye plus, a popular ice fishing location in the winter months, and a memorable palace for paddle fishing. According to Visit MT, “More than 50 different kinds of fish swim in Fort Peck Reservoir, Montana’s largest body of water. The lake is about 134 miles in length and has a maximum depth of 220 feet when full. There are over 1,520 miles of shoreline, longer than the California coast. The reservoir was created from 1933 through 1937 by constructing a 3.8 mile-long dam across the Missouri River. Some of the hotly pursued species include walleye, northern pike, paddlefish, sauger, lake trout, smallmouth bass and chinook salmon. Surrounding this large expanse of water is the Charles M. Russell (CMR) National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which provides over one million acres of public land for fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, bird-watching, and other outdoor recreation.”


With an accessible road system throughout the entire property, Forest Grove Ranch offers endless recreation whether it be hiking, biking, or exploring the ranch in an ATV. Surrounded by the mountainscapes of the Little Snowy Mountains, Judith Mountains, and Mocassin Mountains, the opportunity to explore is truly endless. The city of Lewistown proudly boasts a trail system in town for locals to enjoy, while grand hikes and impressive sites are just a stone’s throw away. 

The Big and Little Snowy Mountains

 According to the United States Forest Service, “The Little Snowy Mountain range has a rich cultural history, beginning with first peoples then homesteading. Today, large ranches maintain the open character of the area. The Little Snowies are separated from the Big Snowies by a subtle break in topography. It is characterized by foothills that are partially forested with mostly ponderosa pine. In general, the country is semi-arid and dominated by grassy vegetation. Landform is rolling with slopes that are gentle to flat, except where creeks have dissected them. The major drainages are Willow Creek and the North Fork of Pole Creek, both of which drain south to the Musselshell River.

The Big Snowy Mountains have long been a unique and revered destination and are higher in elevation and larger in size than the Little Snowies range. The spine of the dominant landform runs east-west for approximately 25 miles, and 10 miles north-south. Middle elevations are clad with coniferous trees. At the highest elevations, the forest transitions into a tree-less plateau of alpine that is characterized by rock and tundra. Slopes vary from steep rocky canyons to gentle benches.

Streams flowing out of the north side of the Big Snowies flow into the Judith River. Those flowing out of the south side flow into the Musselshell River. Many streams originate in steep-walled, amphitheater-like basins and emerge out through canyons. The climate and porous limestone imbues a dry character to the range. Crystal Lake is one of the Big Snowies’ crown jewels. It is a shallow lake of natural origin, roughly 15 feet at its deepest and underlain by a bed of limestone. There are a number of developed recreation sites along Crystal Lake including a campground, day use areas, boat launch, trailhead, and cabin rental. Several dispersed trails take off from this location and provide access to interesting interpretive points such as the Ice Caves which are located within the GA. The geographic areas karst topography conceals many caves. Floristically, the Big Snowies are unique with many vegetation types compressed into the same area. Fire was the historic driver of plant communities.


Whether it’s for pairs or to run yearlings, all cattlemen and prospective property owners will appreciate the brand-new barbed wire perimeter and interior fence lines. At the entry of the property sits a new metal 30 ft x 60 ft heated barn/garage designed to be practical and functional. Half of the barn sits on a concrete slab with an overhead 1-bay garage door to store equipment, plus two rooms that can function as a vet or supply room, reloading station, or grain room. The barn area is extremely well-lit with an overhead heater and features a run-in alley leading to a Powder River indoor chute that sits on concrete. There are 4 stalls that are situated for calving or keeping horses, plus another overhead garage door leading out to a well-thought-out corral. Designed with low-stress and efficient cattle handling in mind, the layout of the pens features a windbreak, round pen, multiple smaller lots with 2 waterers plus another concrete pad for an outdoor chute. To round out the improvements, there is a 500-gallon propane tank, a pump house, a yard light, a high-fenced hay storage yard, corrugated metal grain bin, a water spigot, and an outhouse all located at the entry gate of the property. In the far southern pasture of the ranch, there is a propane fueled generator that runs a well pump to 2 livestock water tanks that is automated with a float switch. With power already accessible to the property, there are multiple scenic building sites that would be suitable for a private home that would feature sweeping mountain views and a tranquil creekside setting.


Of the 786± deeded acres, there are roughly 150± acres of high-yielding hay fields of which the majority is  currently seeded into new stand roundup-ready alfalfa. These meadows have some sub-irrigated areas and yield one cutting per summer and an average 1.5-2.0 tons per acre in a typical year with the residual being grazed by cattle in the late summer or early fall.  Ready to immediately support cattle or other livestock, the newly built improvements and brand new fences make this operation stand out. The well-designed corral system provides the ability to work cattle efficiently in a low-stress environment. Forest Grove Ranch can support roughly 50-75 animal units in the summer months and you can graze the residual growth on the hay fields in the fall months. The cattle and hay operations are currently leased out on a year-to-year basis. There is a noncontiguous 155± BLM grazing lease that is currently being subleased, and will transfer to the new owner. 


Thank you for your interest in our ranch property.