North Dakota Overview
The footsteps of many legends mark North Dakota. On this land, Lewis and Clark, Sakakawea, George Custer and Sitting Bull lived out larger-than-life adventures. Trek the same path they traversed years ago: retrace the Corps of Discovery’s expedition as you follow the Lewis & Clark Trail, or let your imagination wander through Theodore Roosevelt National Park like the Park’s bison and wild horses, and look upon the same rugged landscape that inspired the 26th President of the United States.
The state’s National Parks, historic sites, museums and galleries are bursting with history and inspiring things to do, and with an abundance of outdoor activities, wildlife and colourful events, North Dakota has it all.
To the west, the rugged, untamed landscape of Theodore Roosevelt National Park unfolds across more than 70,000 acres and three different units; the North, South and Elkhorn Ranch Units. President Theodore Roosevelt’s love for the American West was born here and today outdoor enthusiasts share his passion. Drive the 36-mile Scenic Loop to admire North Dakota’s Badlands and view the wildlife from one of the many pullouts along the way.
In Medora, the gateway to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, take in the Medora Musical with a western-style ‘Pitchfork Steak Fondue’ beforehand. The nightly Broadway-style western show is held throughout the summer months in a outdoor amphitheater with breathtaking views of the Badlands as the backdrop.
If you’re after a touch of adventure, ride a horse, a bike or take a hike on the Maah Daah Hey Trail. This 97 mile trail has been deemed an epic ride and parts of it will challenge some of the most skilled while offering outstanding views of North Dakota’s Badlands.
To the east of Medora, branch off along the ‘Enchanted Highway’ which is lined with giant metal sculptures including ‘The World’s Largest Tin Family’, ‘Pheasants on the Prairie’, Grasshoppers in the Field’ and ‘Geese in Flight’.
The International Peace Garden, on the border between Canada and the United States, allows you to roam between the two countries. A colourful 2,300 acre botanical garden with 150,000 flowers and cactus exhibit with 5,000 plants, it commemorates peace between the US and Canada and also features a 9/11 Memorial, Peace Chapel and Game Warden Museum.
Step back in time at the Custer House in Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park just outside Bismark. This is where General Custer gathered his troops and began is journey to Montana to fight the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians at the Battle of Little Bighorn, where he eventually made his last stand and lost his life.
Wherever you go, you’re sure to find satisfying dining, inspiring local and regional arts, exciting events and more.
Must See Places in North Dakota
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Before he became the 26th president of the USA, Theodore Roosevelt became a conservationist and a cowboy after spending many year here. Drive through the Badlands, visit Roosevelt’s restored Maltese Cross Cabin or take in the breathtaking view of Painted Canyon, where jagged mountain peaks compete with grazing bison for most photo-worthy image.
A kind of rural roadside gallery, Enchanted Highway is decorated with large scale metal sculptures all along its 48 kilometres. Ranging from grasshoppers to fish to tin people, the highway ends in Regent, where you’ll find a gift shop offering all of the sculptures in miniature as well as Enchanted Castle Hotel.
Fort Manden Overlook State Historic Site
This Washburn site is where explorers Lewis and Clark settled a winters headquarters, met Sakakawea and began logging their observations about the people and environment around them. Tour the reconstructed fort to imagine what life was like for these intrepid pioneers.
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
See the remnants of earth lodge dwellings, cache pits, fortification ditches and trails in this Stanton site, where the Plains Indians established villages and encountered Lewis and Clark. This museum showcases artefacts and crafts as well as a replica of an earth lodge.
Graham Islands State Park
This park situated around devils Lake – North Dakota’s largest – is home to some of the best fishing in the state. Swimming and boating are popular pastimes at this beautiful spot.
International Peace Garden and Mystical Horizons
This 930-hectare garden located near the Canadian border in the Turtle Mountain region was devised to celebrate the peaceful relations between the USA and Canada. Visit the tower, the flower clock, floral flags and bell tower. Walk the gardens and spend some time in the Interpretive Centre, which houses a conservatory and restaurant.
Video Credit: Visit the USA