Billings MLS# 341162

+/- 567 acres located just minutes from Columbus, MT. This remarkable estate presents endless possibilities as a primary residence with a recreational overlay, or an opportunity for savvy investors with multiple separate electrical hookups already in place for new builds.

On the market for the first time in a generation, the Nickel Ranch offers essentially untouched pasture land that was grazed and hunted in years past. This property recently came available after years of careful stewardship and planning. The ranch is surrounded by homes on acreage and could follow this blueprint or be maintained as a personal private getaway. 

History

Optimally located almost halfway between Bozeman and Billings, Columbus is fast becoming the place to live. If you’re looking for a charming small town to explore in Montana, look no further than Columbus. This historic community has a rich history, and today it’s home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.

Steeped in a rich heritage dating back to the 1800s as a stagecoach station along the Yellowstone River, Columbus has evolved into a picturesque community that captivates visitors with its scenic wonders. Nestled between the Yellowstone River, the old Yellowstone Trail, Highway 10, and Interstate 90, Columbus offers a tranquil retreat for those seeking solace in nature’s embrace. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast drawn to fishing, hiking, or simply strolling through town, Columbus has something special to offer.

Formerly known as Sheep Dip and then Stillwater, this town eventually earned its final name, Columbus, Montana. Today, it stands proudly in Stillwater County, and its population has steadily grown from 1,893 in 2010 to 2,117 inhabitants in 2020, a testament to the allure of this idyllic haven. Come and discover why Columbus, Montana continues to enthrall both residents and visitors alike!

Just the Facts

  • +/- 567.09 deeded acres
  • Multiple electrical hookups as part of an unfinished subdivision plan by past owners
  • +/- 2 miles N of Columbus, MT
  • 100 Miles East of Bozeman, MT
  • Proximity to all types of recreation Montana has to offer
  • Skiing, Snowmobiling, Hiking, Hunting, Riding, Fishing
  • Views: Beartooth/Northern Absarokee Mountain Ranges
  • 45 Minutes West of Billings, MT
  • Keyser Creek Tributary, close to the Yellowstone and Stillwater Rivers
  • Deer, Antelope, Bear, Mountain Lion, Elk
  • Taxes: $234.20

Overview

The Nickel Ranch started as a supplementary summer grazing addition that could also support a hunting habit. The construction background of the prior owners drove them to cut in roads that gave better internal access across the property. For the past 10-15 years, the owners have let the land rest from even grazing practices, which is reflective in the native grass growth on the property. The small creek that meanders through the property is spring sourced and runs year round most years.

The same entrepreneurial spirit that built the access roads and drove in electrical lines spurred the plan to potentially subdivide part of the ranch as progress sprawled around it on all sides. This effort was put on pause during the generational transfer that just finalized and is now prime to continue with new ownership in this next chapter. If land development is second to buyers looking to enjoy a beautiful private ag/recreational haven, the Nickel Ranch is ready day one.

Location & Access
Location: Columbus, MT

Columbus is located south of Interstate 90 Exit 408. Columbus began as a stage station on the Yellowstone Trail and is now a shipping center for the rich farm and ranch lands around it. Originally called Stillwater by its founder Horace Countryman and located two miles west of present day Columbus, it soon became known as Eagles’ Nest. Later it was listed as an Indian trading post called Sheep Dip. With the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1881, Countryman eventually relocated to the present location. The railroad’s arrival was instrumental in the development of Columbus as a permanent city and the primary urban center in Stillwater County. One of the main drivers of economic activity outside of agriculture, tourism and recreation in the area is the mining of precious metals.

Access: Heelers Dr.

The Nickel Ranch is accessed from Nickel Way off of Heelers Dr. off of Rapelje Rd., all-season asphalt/gravel county roads. Columbus is approximately 2 miles to the south and provides direct access to I-90 and HWY 10, which connect you to the rest of the state.

Directions:

Head N on the Rapelje Rd out of Columbus, turn right on Hersrud Rd. Continue onto Heelers Dr to Nickel Way.

Improvements
  • Vacant Land
  • Utilities close by and available
General Operations

The Nickel Ranch started as a supplementary summer grazing addition that could also support a hunting habit. The construction background of the prior owners drove them to cut in roads that gave better internal access across the property. For the past 10-15 years, the owners have let the land rest from even grazing practices, which is reflective in the native grass growth on the property. The small creek that meanders through the property is spring sourced and runs year round most years.

The same entrepreneurial spirit that built the access roads and drove in electrical lines spurred the plan to potentially subdivide part of the ranch as progress sprawled around it on all sides. This effort was put on pause during the generational transfer that just finalized and is now prime to continue with new ownership in this next chapter. If land development is second to buyers looking to enjoy a beautiful private ag/recreational haven, the Nickel Ranch is ready day one.

Leases

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT: None 

STATE OF MONTANA: None

Disclaimer: All water rights and mineral rights owned by the Seller will convey to the Buyer at closing and all required filings with the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) will transfer the current water rights as they exist – with no warranty of future viability. Water rights in the State of Montana are subject to re-adjudication by the DNRC and may be determined by the court to be modified in validity, amount, priority, date, and place of use.

Recreation
Hunting

Huntable species in Montana include black bears, mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope, elk, Shiras moose, mountain goats, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, turkeys, wolves, and bison. There is also excellent hunting for upland birds and waterfowl in most of the state.

Montana’s wildlife is well managed, with excellent trophies of nearly every big-game species being taken in the state every year. Some of the largest bighorn sheep in the world come from Montana, especially the Missouri Breaks region; however, drawing odds are extremely low.

The retreat offers the potential for passing big game and birds along the creek. The additional available acreage could provide great opportunities to hunt trophy deer and antelope.

Fishing

From cold water to warm water, big prairie rivers to high mountain lakes and fly-fishing to trolling, Montana offers angling opportunities for all to enjoy. Whether you’re seeking solitude, fish for the supper table or the trophy of a lifetime, you can find it here.

Many of these opportunities can be attributed to the quality of the fisheries habitat in Montana. Still, there are numerous challenges facing Montana’s fisheries including climate change, habitat alteration and dewatering of streams. FWP is tasked with managing the state’s fishery resources and addressing these challenges.

Outdoor

Skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling are all less than an hour away. The resorts of Red Lodge, Bridger, and Big Sky are home to some of the best winter sports destinations Montana has to offer.

Conservation

The Nickel Ranch does not have a conservation easement in place. Options abound for prospective owners to mold this property into one that meets their goals.

Downloadable Resources:

“They went above and beyond to provide a comprehensive appraisal needed in a short turn time.”

Darla Larson | Farm Credit of Western Arkansas
“They embody the western value of doing a great job on time. I love their can do attitude.”

Charlie Powers | Powers Land Brokerage
“The Johnson Brothers have brought a fresh energy and enthusiasm to an industry that is very difficult to get started in as young professionals.”

Andy Rahn | Montana Land Source
“With a history embedded deep in agriculture, the Johnson Brothers not only know agriculture, they know the market.”

Bethany Toews | Warren Land & Livestock
“We were blown away. So clear, concise, just very pleasant. We just enjoyed showing them our property!”

C. Killebrew | Client Testimony
“They are professional, communicative, efficient and deliver thorough and comprehensive appraisals.”

Tina Hamm & Scott Moran | Hall and Hall
“From the moment they said hello to the day of closing on our property, they were highly professional and showed a great skill of knowledge and experience in their field. ”

E. H. Guptill | Client Testimony
“We are thrilled to have found the Johnson Brothers to represent us. They earned our trust through honest professional advice, recommendations and support throughout the process. We always felt that they were looking out for our best interest and not just trying to make a sale.”

Hurley Family | Client Testimony