Elevation: 4071 FT
Rapelje was named for J. M. Rapelje, the general store manager and vice-president of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Rapelje fared better than most of the dry-land towns because it was at the end of the line for the Northern Pacific and drew trade from several outlying areas. (from Cheney's Names on the Face of Montana, Mountain Press Publishing Company) Hailstone National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Big Lake Complex, a large drainage area beginning with Hailstone to the north and ending at the state-owned and managed Big Lake, a large alkaline lake, to the south. This 1,913-acre complex is one of the most productive areas in central Montana for waterfowl and shorebirds. The refuge is a breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Hailstone Refuge is in wide-open short grass prairie country dominated by rocky outcroppings and small grassy hills. The refuge is open to hunting, hiking, and bird watching.Also part of the Big Lake Complex, Halfbreed National Wildlife Refuge is a large drainage area located in the center of the complex. The refuge receives the freshest water and most of the migratory bird use. Unlike Hailstone, however, this part of the Big Lake Complex is not available for hunting.