A small article on a small town; this adorable city has much more to offer than meets the eye. Just outside the town of Ennis is one of my favorite places to go and at no cost.
This is a small campground at the edge of Ennis lake that is free of charge with a stay limit of 7 days. But is host to one of the best fishing spots as well as photoshoot worthy places around.
The water that strays from the lake channels into the Madison River and finds it’s way around rigid rocks and through the dam, known as the lower Madison River. Just below the dam is some of the best fishing I have ever had in Montana as well as the most quality rainbow trout I have caught. If you are a fisherman, this place is pure bliss.
The river that lets into Ennis lake is known as the upper Madison river and rainbow trout cannot be kept here. As it is supposedly amazing fishing, I have not spent much time here as I like to keep my prizes.
There are only about 6 camping spots here and they are first come, first serve. If you are lucky enough to score a space, I can guarantee pure satisfaction. There are tons of local deer scouring this area and even the seasonal visiting white pelicans.
You will see cranes that sound like velociraptors and plenty of duck and geese. Another local resident tends to be a moose moseying about and you can often see him close to the campground if you wake early enough to see the sunrise.
If you plan on bringing a boat, this place is loads of fun to cruise around in. With many boat ramps about, you can ride around in the lake or even under the bridge and down the river just before the dam.
Nighttime here is absolute darkness, so prepare to have lots of fires and be awestruck by a truly gorgeous star-filled night sky.
There are a couple bars in this town with some great reviews, however, my camping trips are usually B.Y.O.B. This being said, I always go to town for a good breakfast instead.
I admit that with the time I had, I did not explore as much as I had hoped to, however, one of the places that is quite popular is the Ennis Café. The owner of 30 years announced to me that she is going to be retiring and selling the place, but it will still uphold it’s delicious tradition. Ennis Cafe has quite the history as well.
The burgers here are actually quite delicious if you are considering heading in for lunchtime. Everything was super fast, fresh and came with homemade sauces.
If you aren’t feeling cooking eggs over the fire or in your camper and are fueling up for a day of hard fun, drive the 10 minutes into town and give this place a shot. Breakfast is absolutely delicious here- a local favorite for a reason.
This little butcher shop and deli is right before you turn into town and is a great place to stop to grab some bratwursts for the night’s fire or local steaks for grilling. There is lots of fun, quirky, local food, canned items and treats here- stop by and see what you find!
Walking around this town is fun in itself with all of it’s artistic statues. Statues of painted fish are all about the streets as this town’s economy is largely based on fishing the nearby Madison River.
There are also metal sculptures showing a truly Montana spirited hunter, taking home his elk on the back of his horse after a successful day of hunting.
You will also see a plethora of local deer, very comfortable with people and in residential yards. This is quite an amazing sight, however, so many deer in such a small space will actually cause spread of disease quickly among the groups. For this reason, you will see many “fluffy” looking deer that actually have been contaminated with mange.
There are many stores around the town, many in which shut down outside of tourist season. The few that I was able to explore are open year-round.
If you are a sportsman yourself, one of the finest gun selection and gear shops around is Shedhorn Sports. This place has great prices, used and new guns, hunting gear, fishing gear and tackle and even camping equipment. This is a must see when experiencing the Montanan town of Ennis!
My Home In Montana
Looking for souvenirs? This was my absolute favorite place to find souvenirs and goodies. There plenty of locally made jewelry, soaps and other goods.
Whether its gifts, memorabilia, baby goods, camper décor or house décor- they got it and it’s adorable! I definitely recommend stopping by this shop and having a long look around and supporting a small-town business.
This place is quite special to me and has become a huge stepping stone in adopting the way of life here in Montana. Ennis is the perfect place to relax, be at peace and reconnect with yourself and nature. Whether it is hiking the nearby trail, swimming, fishing, birdwatching, taking pictures of the antelope, photography or just reading in the sun and fresh air, Ennis is the perfect place that not many know about to do it at.
With only a limited amount of space, you can truly vacation in a calm manner with many options. You really never know what you will see here; every time is a new adventure. I hope that your experience in this small town will be as magical as mine have been.
*All Photos taken in this blog were taken by myself and are my sole property*