North Dakota January 31, 2017
11 Incredible Trips In North Dakota That Will Change Your Life
As the year unfolds, so do opportunities to go out and see your state in ways you haven’t seen it before. North Dakota is full of secret hidden gems and awesome trips anyone can take. From the badlands in the west to the river valley in the east, this state is just jam packed with amazingly fun things to do that will change your life! And the best part is that most of these are pretty inexpensive if not free, so you should definitely plan to take a trip to at least one of these 11 places this year:
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Take the Fort Abraham Lincoln Trolley Ride.
Did you know that North Dakota had an operating trolley ride? Most people don't, but everyone should take this ride as soon as possible! It goes on a scenic route through the Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. It travels through the beautiful nature and stops at the historical sites such as the fort itself or Custer's House that lie within the park. It is a delight for all and a great way to experience the state park.
2. Hike the Killdeer Mountains.
Most people think North Dakota is pretty flat everywhere and while we may not have something like Mt. Everest in our state, we do have some lovely spots that prove wrong the people who think the state is flat. The Killdeer Mountains are a beautiful place to see exactly this. Not only that, but it also has historical significance and a former battlefield site you can visit by hiking up to the spot in the mountains that would have overlooked it.
3. Take the Historic Bridge Tour in Valley City.
Valley City's nickname is the City of Bridges and for good reason. The Sheyenne River winds through the city and has had many bridges crossing it for decades. You can take a walking tour of 11 of these bridges to see them all for yourself, and they are beautiful! Plus, it'll take you through a lot of the city itself and the lovely things there are to see there.
4. Visit the International Peace Garden.
It's pretty essential to visit the very place that gave North Dakota its nickname of "The Peace Garden State." And I bet you didn't know all of this shown above was there along with the outdoor garden and towers that people generally associate with the garden. There is so much to see here including monuments, plants from all over the world, impressive flower displays, and more, and it is considered one of the most underrated attractions in the state. It is definitely one of those trips that you have to go on at least once in your lifetime.
5. Take a lake vacation at Lake Sakakawea.
Lake Sakakawea is North Dakota's largest lake and has tons of opportunities for boating, sailing, fishing, ice fishing, swimming, camping... you name it! It is basically the ultimate lake vacation no matter what your interests are. There are multiple state parks along the lake, like Fort Stevenson State Park shown above, that have everything you need to enjoy the lake to its fullest.
6. Discover the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site.
Out near Cooperstown, North Dakota is an unusual military base site that doesn't look like a whole lot from the surface, but underground is an unexpected piece of history. This place was highly important during the Cold War and today you can actually visit it yourself, including going down 50 feet underground to a control room that could have been what saved thousands of US citizens. It's impressive to see on the inside and equally impressive to think about just how important this site was.
7. Tour the City of Murals.
The tiny little town of Jud, North Dakota has made a name for itself as the City of Murals. The mere 72 residents who live there transformed what are usually blank walls into works of art, and not just one or two. Nearly every building in the town has a mural on it, which makes the town truly unique. It is a delight to see and makes a great day trip stop.
8. Explore Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
TRNP is North Dakota's only national park and arguably the most gorgeous place in the state. It attracts thousands of visitors to see the unusual land formations, painted canyons, and roaming bison and wild horse herds. It's a massive scenic wonder that should be on everyone's bucket list.
9. Experience the Scandinavian Heritage Park.
This is definitely one of North Dakota's most unique parks and it has so much to see. Many North Dakotans have some form of Scandinavian heritage, so this is not only interesting to visit but also possibly important to your ancestry. In addition to sharing the history of all the Scandinavian countries, its most iconic feature is the Gol Stave Church.
10. See North Dakota's only natural waterfall.
Most people don't even know this waterfall exists! North Dakota's only natural waterfall is hiding deep within the Sheyenne State Forest and there is a breathtaking trail you must take to see it. It'll take you through dense the forests of the Sheyenne River Valley until you reach an underground mineral spring that creates this special waterfall.
11. Attempt an Escape Room in Fargo and Bismarck.
Have you ever heard of an Escape Room? It sounds a little scary at first but it is actually incredibly fun. Take an afternoon trip with your family, friends, coworkers, or whoever you'd like to cooperate with to escape from a room by solving puzzles and discovering hidden secrets. It's like being dropped into a real detective movie where you and your group are the detectives. But you have to move quick because you only get a limited amount of time to get out, and once the clock is ticking down things really get intense. Are you up for the challenge? There are two escape rooms in North Dakota, one in Bismarck and one in Fargo.
What trips are you planning to take in North Dakota this year? If you need more ideas,
try some of these adventures you can take in the state.