Coal Banks Landing
Coal Banks Landing CG
West Of Virgelle
Welcome to the Virgelle, Montana – Coal Banks Landing tour
Why is the area called Coal Banks Landing? One hundred and sixty years years ago the goal of steam powered paddle boats passing here was Fort Benton, but often they were forced to turn around at various places well below “Benton,” hence the name “landing.” People and cargo had to then travel overland on ox-drawn and stagecoaches to reach Fort Benton. If you listen closely you might hear the “Bullwackers” coax the ox teams up this road.
Every year approximately 7,000 people float the Missouri River between Fort Benton, Montana and the Fred Robinson Bridge on US 191. Let’s go explore the area around Virgille, Montana.
When we floated the 148 miles from Loma, Montana to the Fred Robinson Bridge we didn’t get a chance to explore the historic landmarks around Virgelle, Montana. Later we learned, that if you beach your canoe at the Coal Banks Landing Campground before three o’clock in the afternoon, you’ll have plenty of time to walk to Virgelle to buy some great ice-cream at the Virgelle Mercantile.
The Virgelle Ferry
The Virgelle Ferry on the Missouri River is located 35 miles northeast of Fort Benton, Montana The Virgelle Ferry began operation in 1913 and is one of two ferry services still being used today. The ferry operates during the months of April through November. Did you see the decommissioned ferry across the street from the Mercantile in Virgelle, Montana?