Crops, Farming, Livestock
Wrangler Springs has a variety of fields planted in different crops production and cover crops used to rehabilitate soils, such as Canola. When the canola blooms, fields take on a stunning bright yellow color and provide a beautiful backdrop to the ranch. Irrigated areas are planted in hybrid alfalfa, a high-quality hay for horses or dairy cattle. In addition to raising crops, there is a cow/calf and equestrian operation raising performance rope horses for rodeo competition with a lighted arena on site. Teaching horsemanship to youth is a long tradition at the ranch. Montana winters can be brutal on livestock, so through our abundant hay production, we make available hay to those who have animals that need rescue that might not survive otherwise. As a community outreach, the Ranch offers pasture for emergency relocation of horses and animals displaced due to forest fires.
We are planning to build a production community garden and welcome our neighbors and youth groups to participate in gardening at the ranch. Our desire is to provide an opportunity for many to gain knowledge about growing vegetables, become more sustainable and get their hands dirty! We will work with local garden clubs and provide instructional opportunities in both growing and maintaining a vegetable garden and encourage farm to table practices. The Ranch will make available garden plots to those that might otherwise not have land suitable for a garden. Our soil is ideal, located in the ‘Creston Bench’ area of the Flathead River Valley, known for its incredible soil, locally referred to as ‘Black Gold’. We are currently producing our own soil compost from the livestock operations.
History of Homesteaders in the Valley and Montana
We have a large historical wagon collection of most every kind of horse drawn vehicle that depicts the era of transportation used to build the Old West. The wagons will be showcased with history placards telling the story of early homesteader families. The original 1886 homesteader cabin on the property is one of our projects we plan to restore for classroom purposes. The historic 1905 era Big Red Barn, which is an icon in the area, is being restored and detailed to offer a walk-through wagon exhibit.
Nature Educational Walk
and Trail System
Over 6 miles of Trails are being roughed in throughout the property which will eventually interconnect with the existing and future Bigfork Community Trail System. This will offer one of the most unique ways to see this part of the Flathead Valley. A walk through the farm will be dotted with many interpretive reader boards talking about what you are seeing and the history of the area. The long-range goal is to create a bicycle and walking loop from rural Bigfork, traveling over 20 miles through the valley and along the Swan River. A variety of educational sites are along the way.
The property has a lovely artesian spring that creates a pristine pond and waterfall flowing 10,000 gallons per minute. The waterfall was the early energy source when the valley was first homesteaded. A plan is underway with the local electric co-op to once again harness the hydro energy to power the ranch and beyond. The original 1908 Stanley turbine and generator are still on site. The pond maintains 53 degrees Fahrenheit year around, ideal for a fishery.
Work is underway in the center of the Ranch on an amphitheater and chuckwagon camp for hosting educational speaker series and unique events. Paladin is working with organizations and university programs for educational research and encouraging intern programs for students to participate in a wide variety of projects..
We Invite You to Get Involved
Paladin and Wrangler Springs Ranch is a relatively new venture in the startup stages for building infrastructure and raising funding. In a few short years, even inhibited by covid, a dorm fire and now the economy, we continue to make progress towards a special vision to rehabilitate the beautiful property. Our vision is well underway to create a place for learning, inspiration, and special memories through real western lifestyle experiences. Volunteers are welcome to help with daily activities at the Ranch. It makes for a fun day with the family.