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'Sounds of the wilderness': Montanans flock to campgrounds to celebrate Memorial Day weekend

Tent camping at Cooney State Park-Marshall Cover Campground
Posted at 4:38 PM, May 26, 2024

SOUTH CENTRAL MONTANA — Memorial Day Weekend is typically a busy time for camping in Montana and is the first real kick-off to summer camping.

Even after this week's spring storm, campgrounds still had visitors flock to celebrate the long weekend.

Tent camping at Cooney State Park-Marshall Cover Campground
Tent camping at Cooney State Park-Marshall Cover Campground

"Camping is fun because you get to hang out with your family at the campfire and make s'mores," said Delilah Fritz, who was camping with her family, on Saturday.

Sebastian (back left), Michael (back middle), Delilah (back right), and Emmitt (front center)
Sebastian (back left), Michael (back middle), Delilah (back right), and Emmitt (front center)

Getting out into the great outdoors and making lifelong memories.

"We'll probably fish and do some sightseeing," said Dillon Foos at Cooney Reservoir on Saturday. "We were thinking about going up towards Red Lodge, somewhere up there. Just trying to find some campground or something."

Dillon Foos
Dillon Foos

Over at Cooney State Park, minor flooding occurred at some of the campgrounds following the storm.

Flooded campsite at Marshall Cove Campground
Flooded campsite at Marshall Cove Campground

Water spilled over the shore, creating a hazard for motorists and shutting down a few vacant spots.

Cooney State Park-Marshall Cove Campground minor flooding
Cooney State Park-Marshall Cove Campground minor flooding

"I was almost going to drive through it," Foos said with a laugh. "(But then) I was like, 'Yeah, we still got a whole weekend ahead of us. We're not getting crazy.'"

The water wasn’t stopping campers like Foos and his family from enjoying the weekend. Pictured below are his fishing buddies, Chelsea and Django, enjoying the day:

Chelsea and her dog, Django, enjoying family time at Cooney State Park
Chelsea and her dog, Django, enjoying family time at Cooney State Park

In Laurel at Riverside Park, the Fritz family enjoyed time together around the fire.

Sebastian helping Emmitt with the microphone
Sebastian helping Emmitt with the microphone

"We made brats and s'mores," said Michael Fritz, Delilah's brother, on Saturday. "And then we went to bed at like 1:00 a.m."

When asked what their favorite part about camping was, Delilah and Michael had similar answers:

"The sounds of the wilderness," Delilah said.

"Quietness," Michael said.

They’re looking forward to many more trips like these throughout summer, regardless of the weather.

Trailer camping with a boat at Cooney
Trailer camping with a boat at Cooney

"We're going camping again (in two weeks)," Sebastian, one of the Fritz siblings, said excitedly. "We're going boating at Cooney!"

"I love camping!" -Emmitt, the youngest Fritz sibling.