A visit to the nearby Bitterroot National Forest during the upcoming Fourth of July weekend will ensure at least one thing... you won't hear the incessant popping of firecrackers, because fireworks are not allowed in national forests.

Joni Lubke is the executive assistant at the Bitterroot National Forest, who provides some helpful tips for a fun and relaxing stay.

"All of our campgrounds are open and ready for visitors," Lubke said on Friday. "The campgrounds fill up quickly, so you have to go early, or you can reserve your spot on the Bitterroot National Forest website."

Lubke said there are a variety of campgrounds and activities available in the forest.

"Our most popular campgrounds are up at Lake Como and they're always popular for water recreation," Lubke said. "For those who are trying to get away from the noise and fireworks, there's lots of hiking to do, lots of wilderness areas you can head to, or some of our back country lakes."

Lubke repeated the mantra regarding fireworks in the national forests.

"Fireworks are not permitted in the national forests, so please leave them at home, because there are  violations if you are caught using fireworks on national forest lands."

Lubke said those who want a quiet, relaxing Independence Day holiday weekend are welcome to stay and recreate in the Bitterroot National Forest.

Get more details at 363-7100 in Hamilton.

Executive Assistant Joni Lubke