Cooney State Park, on Cooney Reservoir less than an hour south of Billings, is one of south-central Montana's most popular play spots, especially in summertime, when you can expect the park's 72 campsites, divided among five campgrounds, to be full.
Motor-boating, water skiing, windsurfing and fishing for the lake's walleye and rainbow trout are popular summertime activities. Come winter, ice fishing, Nordic skiing and ice skating take over. The park is open year-round, but a concession offering necessities including soda, water, snacks, firewood, bait, ice, and emergency items for boats is open Thursday-Sunday, 8 AM - 8 PM, Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Camping facilities include all the usual amenities plus a few extras like fish-cleaning stations and, for afterward, coin-operated showers (open 5/01 to 09/30). Eleven campsites at the Red Lodge Campground have electrical hookups, and the Marshall Grove Campground is a no-pet zone for those who prefer their tent camping without late-night barking.