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Headwaters Rest Area opens after long delays—we asked, was it worth the wait?

REST STOP.jpg
REST STOP.jpg
Posted at 5:28 PM, Apr 05, 2024

THREE FORKS — The long-awaited Headwaters Rest Area near Three Forks finally opened Friday morning at 9 a.m.

This new rest area is located on US Highway 287 near the Interstate 90 interchange. After the rest area on 19th Avenue closed, the Headwaters rest stop was supposed to open summer of 2023.

After some delays, the rest stop finally opened Friday morning. But is it all that it could be? Travelers complained about a stench in the rest stop and a lack of toilet paper in the restrooms. As for the law enforcement office? Well, it’s currently empty.

Regardless of the conditions inside, travelers are still excited about this checkpoint between Butte and Bozeman.

“I knew it was here, I know it’s been here for a few years. I didn’t realize it was open yet until I drove by a little bit ago,” says traveler Ed Welch.

I asked him if it was convenient that the rest stop was finally open and he replied, “Very much so. This will be a good stop between Helena and Bozeman. A good place to stop, rest up, and get some water. Glad they got it open finally”.

The old rest area on 19th closed about a year ago, and still, nothing is happening on the property.

We previously reported that a Chick Fil-A is proposed for the site. So far, no permit applications have been filed with the city. And according to Chik-Fil-A, there is no official opening date for the 19th Avenue location.