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Driving from Helena to Great Falls it is impossible not to think of Montana’s best known artist, Charles M. (Charlie) Russell.  The sweeping hillsides, gentle rolling mountains, and the vast endless prairie illustrated in Russell’s paintings haven’t much changed and the views are still unobstructed.

What to Expect: Steamboats, fur traders and trappers, then ranching and agriculture shaped this portion of the state, and left a rural architectural legacy rich in homestead houses, schoolhouses, barns, and railroad buildings. The mid-twentieth century “Cold War” days dominated here as well leaving remnants of military sites exposed on the prairie. North Central Montana is perfect for intermediate explorers hoping to find the rare and unusual without going too far from the interstate.