Tours Travel

Lake Koocanusa in Montana is the place to be

Friends of our family have always been enthusiastic about the Koocanusa area and the natural wonders found there. They have a property near Koocanusa Lake and use it as a refuge to get away from the daily stresses of work and responsibility. We are somewhat jealous of your getaway and nothing we would love to have the same.

Although we have been invited to join them on numerous occasions, we never take the time to go with them to witness this land of mountains, crystal clear waters and natural beauty. But this time we accept your offer and head to your vacation property in Koocanusa.

I wanted to do my due diligence on the area that we were about to explore and experience in the next few days. Of course, we could have packed up to go, but due to my inquisitive nature, it was important for me to know something about the area.

The main function of Lake Koocanusas

For me, having water on my door is a pure luxury; especially if you live on the prairie. I wanted to know the hard facts about the natural beauty that I was going to dip my toes in.

Lake Koocausa is 90 miles long and supported by a huge dam called the Libby Dam, which is just 16 miles upriver from the town of Libby. The main function of the dam is to provide hydroelectric power; that in my eyes is green energy. Green energy approved!

The dam was a joint project between the United States and Canada in 1972, with the goal of offering protection against floods and hydroelectric power. The Kootenai River problem had to be solved, as each spring the river caused uncontrolled flooding in Montana, Idaho and British Columbia. Who would have thought that this river could do so much damage?

Where did the name come from?

At first I had trouble remembering how to spell Koocanusa, but then I divided the word into three sections. This is exactly what the founder of the name did. It all started with a contest on the name of the Libby Dam reservoir. The winner came up with a simple formula and took the first three letters from the KOOtenai River and then took the first three letters from Canada and the US. So there you have it Koo + can + use; Koocanusa. This is easy to remember and easy to write.

I love little facts like this and I love nothing more than people knowing what I have discovered!

Getting to Riverside

Our friends have a cabin in an underdevelopment in Riverside, Koocanusa. I had no idea what to expect, the term cottage sounds small and rustic, the term underdevelopment sounded crowded. I thought, what the hell; It is a free weekend away from the pressures of life.

We drove from Calgary to the US side of Koocanusa, which only took us 3.5 hours. When I saw the natural beauty, the mountains, and of course the crystal clear lake, my heart skipped a beat; I was amazed. We arrived at the Riverside Underdevelopment in Koocanusa and each property was secluded and private, within walking distance of the lake. The houses were nothing like I had imagined, they were spacious and charming.

My next thought was, there is a lot for sale in Koocanusa?

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