The Winter Storytelling series at Travelers' Rest State Park in Lolo is a welcome activity every Saturday.

This year, the gatherings start at 11 a.m. at the Holt Museum and Visitor Center at the park on US 12, just a short distance from US 93. Travelers Rest is centuries-old Native American gathering ground, and is a documented campsite for the Lewis and Clark Expedition as they journeyed on to the Pacific Coast and as they returned a year later in the 1800s.

Storytelling is a powerful tradition of Native American cultures. The Salish and Kootenai passed on tribal history, family stories and more through the winter months around the campfire.

The series will run for four more weekends - Jan 26, Feb 2, Feb 9 and Feb 16.

This weekend, January 26, Vernon Finley, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe language curriculum coordinator, will present traditional Kootenai winter stories. Vernon has previously been a presenter at this series and programs at Ft Owen State Park in Stevensville.

Travelers' Rest, operated by Montana State Parks and volunteers, is enjoying an increase in attendance figures. Last year, during the summer season, almost 25,000 people visited. That's a 14 percent increase over the year before.