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Welcome to North Dakota

The Great Plains come to life in North Dakota. Watch buffalo roam in the grasslands, tour historic forts and Native American villages or walk in the steps of explorers Lewis and Clark, who first traversed these lands in the early 1800s. If wide-open spaces are your thing, take a journey across North Dakota.

Best Boating and Hiking

Paddlers will want to hit the Little Missouri River, which runs into Lake Sakakawea from the east and offers stunning views of the Badlands and grasslands. Lake Sakakawea, likewise, provides ample room for boaters (both sail and motor) seeking an extensive day trip with little traffic. For those looking for extensive hiking trails, check out the North Country National Scenic Trail, a multistate trail that passes through the state from the east before its terminus in Lake Sakakawea State Park.

Paddlers in two-seated kayaks propel themselves down a muddy river with trees on the banks.

Credit North Dakota Tourism

Waterfowl and Waterways

North Dakota is renowned for its duck and goose hunting. Located in the state’s northeast, Devils Lake is the state’s largest natural body of water and is a top pick for both waterfowl hunting and fishing. Lake Sakakawea State Park, northwest of the Badlands, is a prime spot for water recreation: it’s one of the largest human-made reservoirs in the U.S. The Missouri River, which flows south from Sakakawea, is another top choice for fishing, with trout found south of the Garrison Dam. Head to the Turtle Mountains of northern North Dakota to hunt deer and moose. Straddling the Canadian border, this region is home to forests, lakes and hills.

Sunset over the Badlands, with striations visible in fading light.

Credit North Dakota Tourism

Rough-and-Tumble Landscapes

Imagine standing at the edge of a grassland prairie gazing out at labyrinthian hills, gullies and ridges on the horizon that shimmer with crimson hues in the sun. Once known as difficult (bad) lands to pass through, today’s Badlands draw thousands of visitors to North Dakota to marvel at this tortured landscape near the state’s eastern border. After Theodore Roosevelt fell in love with this rough-and-tumble landscape and the Western culture in his pre-presidential days, he purchased land in the area and visited throughout his life. Today, this region is preserved in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, a popular place for outdoor recreation.