The Shire of Montana
September 23rd, 2015 by Victoria Hampton
The Shire of Montana creator Steve Michaels of Trout Creek, Montana, sits outside of Frodo Baggins’ house, one of many hobbit dwellings in The Shire.

The Shire of Montana creator Steve Michaels of Trout Creek, Montana, sits outside of Frodo Baggins’ house, one of many hobbit dwellings in The Shire.

Hobbits live the simple life in The Shire: relishing their bountiful harvests, enjoying a pull from their pipes and keeping a clean, fitful home for any passersby during tea time.

Embarking through Middle-earth and visiting the homes of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins seems like a fairytale dream—which is exactly the whimsical world Steve Michaels has brought to life.

The Shire of Montana in Trout Creek is no ordinary guest resort. It’s an experience. If the sounds of woodland fairies or a rock from a hobbit slingshot whizzing overhead is not enough to transport guests to author J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium setting, the décor and architecture will convince visitors they have passed into a new universe.

“I just have a really good imagination,” Steve says.

Steve collected Tolkien-inspired decorations from across the Northwest. Artists painted murals and built decorations that capture the true hobbit environment on the property.

“We used as many local people as possible,” Steve says.

The Shire of Montana has had a wizard-sized amount of publicity since it opened in October 2010. It has been featured on MTV and HGTV, and in The New York Times and USA Today.

More than 100 guests come from all over the world to visit the Shire during the six months a year it is open—May 1 through November 1.

“We’re booked about 70 percent of the time,” Steve says.

In the off season and in between guests, Steve likes that he “can go up there and just have a good time.”

For Steve, the Shire is a way for him to express his creativity and share it with the world.

“You do what you love and you have fun doing it,” he says. “Then everything you’ve done pays off.”

For more information, visit www.theshireofmontana.com.