One competition is working to kick off 2023 in a way that promotes health and exercise. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks announced the third annual “Battle of the Boots” competition in Lone Pine State Park in Kalispell or Flathead Lake State Park. The competition runs from January 1- 31.

The news release says recreationists can sled, snow-shoe, hike, fat tire bile, or cross-country ski a trail at one of the parks. Miles can be logged in at the trailhead kiosk to lead the park into a triumphant victory. The park with the most logged miles wins! There are several different prizes given to groups and individuals who participate. 

The first overall miles for January get a free weekend of summer camping at Lake Mary Ronan State Park or the west shore unit. Second overall miles for the month, get a free day of a kayak or SUP rental at the Finley Point unit in Flathead State Park. For third overall miles, winners receive a 25-liter OSPREY day pack. Hikers get entered into a raffle. For every mile hiked, they earn one free raffle entry. Other small prizes for the top hikers will also be available. Participants are asked to share photos from their hike and tag one of the parks for a feature on their Facebook or Instagram pages. 

Lone Pine State Park is five miles southwest of Kalispell, with spectacular views of the valley with seven and a half miles of trails. There is also an interpretive center with information on living in the Wildlife Urban Interface. Other amenities in the park in luce a picnic table, community room, horseshoe pit, volleyball court, and archery range available for rent. 

Flathead State Park offers six unique park units around Flathead lake, the largest lake west of the Mississippi. Park units on the east side include Yellow Bay, Wayfarer, and Finley point. The west side units include West Shore, Big Arm, and Wild Horse Island. Each unit offers unique experiences for the individual. Boating, swimming, and fishing opportunities are available, as well as camping spots, sightseeing, and wildlife viewing. 

Participating in Battle of the Boots is a great way to celebrate the new year in a way that others can get outside and connect with nature.