The quaint and peaceful community of Bigfork Montana derived its name from the Salish designation for the area. It is a community with a population of about 4270 people consisting of local and summer residents who come to enjoy the outdoor activity that Bigfork has to offer.
Reportedly Bigfork was first nearby homesteaded and an orchard was established in 1885. Everitt L. Sliter planted additional fruits1892 on Flathead Lake’s east shore. The town was platted by Everett L. Sliter in 1902 in the area located at the rapidly flowing mouth of the Swan River which cuts through the Bigfork community and empties into the North East side of Flathead Lake. The scenic Flathead Lake is surrounded by Craggy mountains and contains nearly a dozen scattered islands such as Wild Horse Island, a celebrated National Park. With nearly 200 square miles of surface water, the Flathead Lakes holds first place for the largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi over that of Lake Tahoe. It is also touted to be one of the freshest cleanest lakes in the world.
The Flathead Lake and Swan River is a sustaining force for the Bigfork area as is the nearby trailheads at Jewell Basin and Strawberry Lake although it is a short distance to warm bodied Echo Lake, Swan Lake, and Seely Lake as well. The abundance of crystal water, the elevation at 2900 feet above sea level, the milder Montana temperatures and the low lying land protected by the mountains provides an excellent environment to grow the famous Flathead cherries mainly on the east shore and grape vineyards on the west shore. Apple, pear and plum orchards thrive around the lake as well as nearby vegetable, hay, tree nurseries, sod/turf and wheat farms.
Bigfork today is considered the more affluent communities in the Flathead Valley. Homes in Bigfork generally are above the national mean & median price of that of the US. Bigfork is populated by renowned artists, painters, sculptors, authors, directors, active & retired sport figures.
The down town area of Bigfork presents itself as a mountain resort community with its wood frontages and tucked away boutiques, restaurants, galleries, and one dinner theatre. Which, after a day of hiking, snow shoeing, camping, boating, wind sailing, tubing, kayaking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, golfing, gold panning or the 30 minute drive from 2 ski resorts, residents can enjoy the splendid walkabout the town and absorb the splendid sunsets.