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 Helena, MT – The Montana Preservation Alliance (MPA) is excited to announce the launch of a new heritage resource, The Path Less Traveled: Guide to Montana’s Hidden Rural Heritage, now online at

The online guide uses familiar Google maps to give casual day trippers or die hard back-road junkies the key to finding the history of more than 100 off-the-beaten-path historic sites nestled into the hillsides, mountains, and beautiful prairies of the Treasure State.

The guide takes you down Montana’s uncrowded country roads to find everything from high mountain ghost towns and forest lookout towers to small-town saloons, schools, churches, ranger stations, and post-World War II landmarks. The focus is rural and off-the-beaten-path, but travelers will be surprised to find many hidden gems within an hour of Montana’s six major cities and two National Parks. Multiple photographs and brief histories for each property offer colorful stories important to narrating the many facets of Montana history, while “Sources” and “Links” help guide avid history buffs to further reading. 

The Path Less Traveled guide is a companion and extension of MPA’s Path Less Traveled: Montana Preservation Road Show – a traveling heritage preservation conference focused on bringing attention and appreciation to Montana’s rural landmarks scattered and often hidden across the state’s vast landscape. The Road Show and the website are a partnership between MPA and the US Forest Service Region One Heritage Stewardship Enhancement program and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The website began in 2016 as a project to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act and to draw attention to Montana’s many rural National Register-listed properties.

In addition to all that, The Path Less Traveled website invites those adventurous, think-outside-the-box travelers who want to get away from crowded tourist towns and tacky t-shirt shops, to experience an unspoiled part of the West where their hard-earned dollars and precious vacation hours will be well spent making genuine Montana memories. As we launch the guide in early 2019 we will continually add cherished heritage sites in an effort to shine a light on lesser-known rural historic sites. If you don’t see your favorite place on the site now, stay tuned . . .