Kading Campground Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"While the Little Blackfoot Valley appears virtually unpopulated, it has been home to a variety of enterprises. Shortly after you turn onto Little Blackfoot Road, you’ll come to Charter Oak Mine. This abandoned mine began life in 1916 and produced ore for over 40 years. In the 1990s, the complex came under the supervision of the Forest Service for reclamation and preservation. An unusual partnership was formed in 2001 when the Helena National Forest and a class at Helena High School combined to make improvements at the site and create an interpretive trail.
Numbered signposts throughout the mine and mill correspond to an interpretive brochure available at the site. About the same time Charter Oak began full-scale operation, two enterprising settlers sought their fortune from a different natural resource. You’ll see the remains of their handiwork if you take the hike to Blackfoot Meadows. The marshy pond in the meadows was dammed by two men who started a beaver farm here in the 1920s. After about five years, the economic windfall they anticipated failed to materialize, and they left seeking greener pastures."