North Dakota May 05, 2018
8 Lesser-Known State Parks In North Dakota That Will Absolutely Amaze You
We all know about North Dakota’s national park, and many of us have been to or heard of places like Lake Metigoshe State Park, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, and other popular spots. But what about the other many state parks in the Peace Garden State? If you’re looking for someplace new to visit that is just as impressive as the others, you’ll love these lesser-known gems:
1. Little Missouri State Park
This breathtaking state park is located near Killdeer, North Dakota. If you're looking for a way to experience another part of the badlands that isn't in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, this is it. This is also a great place to go horseback riding through the rugged terrain.
2. Cross Ranch State Park
The beautiful Missouri River has been altered and developed upon most of the hundreds of miles it stretches, but there is one state park in North Dakota that has the very last of its original, free-flowing, pristine state. The park is entirely primitive to preserve the land and there are plenty of trails to explore it on. This park is located near the town of Hensler.
3. Fort Ransom State Park
Nestled among the rolling hills of the Sheyenne River Valley, Fort Ransom State Park delivers on so many gorgeous aspects of North Dakota nature. The winding river, the tree-covered hills, and hidden meadows of wildflowers and a historic farmstead are all within this state park. This park is located next to the town of Fort Ransom.
4. Sully Creek State Park
While most people visiting Medora go to the impressive Theodore Roosevelt National Park to experience the badlands, there is a lesser-known state park just south of the town that is equally as breathtaking. This state park also allows you to camp right up next to the canyon walls in a pleasant valley along the Little Missouri River.
5. Turtle River State Park
Located near Grand Forks, North Dakota, Turtle River State Park is a serene place to walk the wooded trails along the meandering river. There are cabins here you can rent as well as plenty of campgrounds. One of the prettiest features of the park is the lovely little waterfall shown above. It's great to visit year round!
6. Lewis and Clark State Park
Experience the massive Lake Sakakawea by visiting the Lewis and Clark State Park. This is located near Williston and has everything you need for a fun day at the lake. A marina, trails, plenty of campgrounds, and an interpretive center and museum are all included here.
7. Icelandic State Park
Doesn't this look like a shot taken in a rainforest? It's actually in North Dakota! The Icelandic State Park and Gunlogson Nature Preserve can be found way up north near Cavalier, North Dakota. In this park you'll explore a tranquil forest that surrounds the Tongue River. There is also a historic homestead in the park and the Pioneer Heritage Center where you can learn about the history of the state's early settlers.
8. Beaver Lake State Park
Experience a fantastic day while relaxing lakeside at Beaver Lake State Park, located near Napoleon, North Dakota. This lake has a swimming beach, docks, and is surrounded by the charming prairie hills we all know and love.
All of the full addresses, season dates, campground reservation, and other information you may need can be found at the North Dakota Parks and Recreation website at
Though these lesser-known spots deserve more attention, there’s a good reason why North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park is the most popular tourist destination in the state. It’s seriously awesome!
Discover why by clicking here.