North Dakota April 30, 2017
10 Rivers In North Dakota That Are So Much More Than Just A Body Of Water
Rivers mean everything in North Dakota. They brought settlers to the land, raised up communities, created valleys and landscapes, and created recreational spots that people love. The rivers within this state can be beautiful but also powerful forces of nature. Our rivers are a huge part of our lives, and here are 10 of the most famous rivers in the Peace Garden State:
1. James River
This river flows for over 700 miles. Jamestown, North Dakota was built around it, including the Jamestown Dam and resulting reservoir, but the town was not named after the river itself. The river was named by French explorers and the town was named by a man originally from Jamestown, Virginia.
2. Red River of the North
The beautiful Red River created the Red River Valley where a huge chunk of North Dakotans live. Fargo, Grand Forks, Wahpeton, and many other small towns reside along this river. It is one of few rivers in North America with a northward flow. Many people from all over the country hear about it when it has a major flood.
3. Missouri River
The mighty Missouri is one of the most famous rivers in all of America. It is the longest in the country at over 2,340 miles, and a large portion of those miles is through western and central North Dakota. The cities of Bismarck and Mandan are cut through the middle by this river, and it creates some truly scenic sights.
4. Little Missouri River
One of the tributaries of the Missouri River is the Little Missouri River. This river winds through western North Dakota and created the breathtaking badlands through thousands of years of erosion.
5. Pembina River
This stunning river flows through the Turtle Mountains in the northern region of the state, and creates the amazing Pembina Gorge. This place is especially gorgeous in fall when the trees turn into vibrant colors that reflect off the water.
6. Cannonball River
This river gets its name from the cannonball concretions that can be found within and near it. These unique geological formations look exactly as they sound - like cannonballs, or otherwise perfectly smooth spheres.
7. Sheyenne River
This exclusively North Dakotan river is a tributary of the Red River. It flows through places like Valley City, or the City of Bridges. It also created the Sheyenne River Valley, a gorgeous place you can view in its natural state in places like Fort Ransom State Park.
8. Tongue River
The Tongue River is best viewed in the Icelandic State Park near Cavalier, North Dakota. It is about 90 miles long and is a tributary of the Pembina River.
9. Des Lacs River
This windy river flows through both North Dakota and the Canadian Province of Saskatchewan. At one point it would create vast wetlands during parts of the year, but those are nearly nonexistent after our own modifications to the flow and the land around it.
10. Heart River
The Heart River flows near cities including Mandan, Dickinson, and South Heart. It begins near the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and flows all the way to the Missouri River.
A lot of these rivers flow through state parks in North Dakota that preserve their original form.
You can learn more about these parks and how to visit them here.