TROY, Mont. (AP) — Western Montana's forests are home to some of the state's largest and oldest trees, including the dense 100-acre site called Ross Creek Cedars where some of these giants grow to 10 feet in diameter.

Some of these deep forest monsters near Troy, Montana date back to about 1492, where a continent away Columbus was exploring the New World.

The Flathead Beacon reports these cedar groves aren't merely home to natural wonders.

Archaeologists discovered signs of human activity dating back almost 8,000 years in this lush corridor hugging the Idaho and Montana border.

This is the traditional territory for the Kootenai, Salish and Pend d'Oreilles tribes.

A local Three Rivers Ranger District official, archaeologist Rachel Reckin, says she loves to ponder the trees — and imagine the stories they'd tell.