A Travel Guide to North Dakota
North Dakota is a state surrounded by the “M’s” of Montana and Minnesota, west and east respectively; with its neighbouring namesake of South Dakota sitting below it. On the Northern border are the Canadian provinces (ideal for cross-border duty free shopping) of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The capital of North Dakota is Bismarck.
Bismarck is located in the South Central area of North Dakota and besides the usual sightseeing tours of the State Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion, there are also the historical reference centres of the North Dakota Heritage Centre and Camp Hancock State Historic Site. On the water, there is the opportunity to traverse the wonderful Missouri River on the Lewis and Clark boats. There are also other beautiful stretches of nature given over to places like McDowell Dam Nature Park and for the keen driver – jaw-dropping scenes, carefully garden-landscaped to accommodate the golfer.
Near the capital following the trail of the early pioneers of Lewis and Clark there is the Fort Mandan Overlook State Historic Site where the pioneers were headquartered. Many artefacts where found here that can be dated to the historic time when they founded the second longest trail from the mid-eastern state of Illinois to the Pacific coast of Washington.
To the west of Bismarck, almost on a parallel line to the capital, near the Montana border is Sully Creek State Park. Its waterway the Little Missouri River is popular with the sport of canoeing with its 274 miles, which gives spectacular views of the Badlands. It is also popular with horseback riders, hikers and mountain bikers with the 120 mile long Maah Daah Hey Trail. Rentals and tours are available for those who wish to take the saddle on horse and for the mountain bike in the nearby town of Medora. Close to the Park there is also the Theodore Roosevelt National Park as well as many other rural adventures.
On an almost parallel direction eastwards and almost equidistant of the capital and the Minnesota border lies the flora and fauna haven of the 16,000 acre lake area of Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge on the James River. This is a wonderful place to visit for those interested in bird and nature watching with many indigenous and migrating species at home in the habitats of wonderful wetlands, forests and prairie. Hunting for deer and game birds are allowed here but there are restrictions to preserve the balance of the animals that live here. A permit is required not only for hunting but also fishing which is also enjoyed here. To preserve the water in the refuge area only non-motorised boats are allowed.
There is also the Rendezvous Region Backway in Walhalla, a beautiful stretch of natural area in the Northeast North Dakota and many other natural areas as well as many museums outside of Bismarck. There is self catering vacation rental accommodation available here too, in the rural areas with authentic log cabins and in the urban areas period style vacation homes and apartments typically endowed with North American hospitality.