2010 Census Statistics

Townsend 1,878
Broadwater County 5,752
Montana 1,005,141

Population per square mile:
Broadwater County 4.7
Montana 6.8
United States 87.4
California 239.1
New York State 411.2

Land Division

796,000 Acres within Broadwater County
515,000 Acres of private land
281,000 acres of Public Land (State & Federal)

Townsend is centrally located between larger cities & popular recreational areas

35 minutes to Helena
60 minutes to Bozeman
80 minutes to Butte
2 hours to Great Falls
2.5 hours to Missoula
3.5 hours to Billings
15 minutes to Canyon Ferry Lake
5 minutes to Missouri River
15 minutes to 3 hours to 100’s of streams & numerous lakes
15 minutes from town in all directions you can be on Public Land
Townsend is surrounded by large areas of USFS, BLM, BOR & State land
4 major snow skiing areas from 1.5 to 3 hours away


Click Here for Broadwater County Economic & Demographic Information

Broadwater County was named for Colonel Charles Broadwater & made an official county on March 1, 1897 by the Montana Legislature. Broadwater County is roughly defined by the Big Belt Mountains to the east & north, the Elkhorn Mountains to the west.

Townsend is the county seat & the only incorporated city in the county, although we have several other communities, including the Silos area, Toston, Radersburg, the Wheatland area, & Winston.

Townsend Montana is located in southwestern area of Montana at approximately 3,800 feet above sea level, 32 miles southeast of Helena, the Montana State Capital. Townsend is situated in the Missouri River valley between the Big Belt & Elkhorn Mountains, where the Missouri River opens into Canyon Ferry Lake a popular recreation destination & Montana’s third largest body of water. The area was nicknamed “Valley of Adventure” because of the vast outdoor opportunities that are available right out your backdoor.

Lewis & Clark passed through Townsend on the voyage of discovery in 1805, although the first white settlers, homesteaders & Civil War veterans in search of gold, did not arrive until the late 1860’s. In 1883, a rail stop was established as businesses became established supporting gold mining in the region. Townsend was named by railroad officials, in honor of the wife of Charles Barstow Wright, president of the Northern Pacific (1875-1879). During this time a $10,000 hotel was built. Land lots sold for $5 apiece. If you are interested in more history about the area please visit the “Museum” tab under the “Broadwater County” tab at the top of the page. Townsend also has a great museum that is open from mid May to Mid September.

Today, Townsend is filled with recreational opportunities, abundant with trees, parks & lakes. The Missouri River borders the town & the Big Belt Mountains & the Elkhorn Mountains shelter & protect this town, which has lead to this area being called “The Banana Belt”, because winter in the valley is often milder than the surrounding area & the rest of Montana. Townsend is in great hunting & fishing country. This part of Montana is also known as Southwest Country (previously Gold West Country). Southwest Country is the southwestern part of Montana blessed with large agricultural valleys ringed by snow-capped mountains, some of Montana’s finest hunting & fishing & a mother-lode of history. It is also conveniently located between Glacier National Park & Yellowstone National Park, making this a great place to live & raise a family.

Here you will find that people are a diverse mix of hard-working ranchers, miners, loggers, artists, historians, outdoor enthusiasts, small business owners & a lot more.

Townsend Montana is full of wonder & packed with everything that comes to mind when folks dream of Montana: unspoiled wilderness, spectacular views, abundant wildlife & bird viewing, trout-filled rivers & streams & a slow-paced, genuine Montana way of life.

Additional Information

Broadwater County Demographic