The beautiful weather we’ve been having has me itching to get back outdoors. If you love hiking but don’t have the time for a long trek, these hikes are perfect for you. Take an afternoon and head out into the beautiful North Dakota country side and state parks to experience these eight hikes that are each under five miles long.
1. Shoreline Trail - 3.03 miles
This trail in the Lewis & Clark State Park follows along the shore of Lake Sakakawea with the beautiful bluffs in the distance and plenty to see on the trail itself. The area is known for being a great place for prairie falcon spotting, and don't be surprised if you see a lot of other birds and wildlife, too.
2. Painted Canyon Nature Trail - 1 mile
Dive down into these gorgeous painted canyons within the South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. They're amazing from above, but walking within them is something you won't be able to experience anywhere else. It's the best way to truly get a taste of the badlands of North Dakota.
3. Old Oak Trail - 3 miles
This trail was the first National Recreational Trail founded in North Dakota and is located in the breathtaking Lake Metigoshe state park. The trees that surround you have been there for centuries and it's a great trail to feel at one with nature, and also learn about some of the history of the state.
4. Rolling Prairie Loop Trail - 1 mile
North Dakota's scenic prairies make the perfect landscape for trails, and this trail in Beaver Lake State Park is the best way to experience it. The swaying grasses and wildflowers along the path are right near the lake. This trail is one of the most serene and relaxing trails you can take; I highly recommend it.
5. Prairie Dog Town Trail - 1.5 miles
The North Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park has a trail that will lead you right to one of the prairie dog 'towns' that can be found all over. Many other animals stop by, too, so if you like seeing or taking pictures of animals, then this is the perfect spot.
6. Little Soldier Loop Trail - 1.75 miles
Get the best view of the On-A-Slant village in Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park with this interpretive trail. The trail goes through a loop in the park that goes right by the village and gives a perfect vantage point. The Missouri and Heart rivers can be seen in the distance to create a breathtaking scene you won't regret hiking up to see.
7. Matah River Trail - 3 miles
Learn about the fauna and flora of the region along the Missouri River in Cross Ranch State Park on this trail. Signs along the trail will tell you all about the area and you'll experience it as you go. It is a great trail for a hike during any time in the day, and it's totally worth it.
8. Little Twig Nature Trail - 1 mile
Through forests, across meadows, and over creeks, this Fort Ransom State Park trail is all you could ever need in a casual hike. Immerse yourself in nature on a sunny day and take your time with this one. You'll feel entirely refreshed by the end, and it's only one mile long.
Do you have any hiking plans for any time soon? The weather is so nice right now; let’s all take advantage of it and get outdoors!