The 10 Best State Parks in North Dakota!

Nowhere is the beauty of North Dakota more present than its state parks. The park system gives visitors a first-hand look at North Dakota’s history, cultural significance, native vegetation, and animal population. A variety of fishing, hiking, and exploring opportunities abound throughout the parks. Here are the 10 best! 

Lake Sakakawea State Park, Pick City, ND

Located on the southern shore of beautiful Lake Sakakawea, the 1,293-acre park is home to some of the state’s best salmon fishing. The lake itself is one of the three largest man-made structures in the country, trailing only Nevada’s Hoover Damn and Arizona’s Glen Canyon Dam. The park is also the culmination of the North Country National Scenic Trail, which stretches across the northern U.S. to upstate New York. Lake Sakakawea State Park is home to campgrounds, sleeping cabins, a full-service marina, a swim beach, picnic shelters, and a fully-functional RV dump station.

Turtle River State Park, Arvilla, ND

Located on the tranquil Turtle River, the 784-acre park provides year-round recreational activities for the eastern part of the state. With an abundance of rainbow trout, the river offers prime fishing opportunities in all four seasons. A groomed trail system affords up-close looks at the wide variety of animals and birds in the area, and the wetlands are flush with natural vegetation. Turtle River State Park also includes campgrounds, picnic shelters, a playground, a sledding hill, and a RV dump station.

Lewis & Clark State Park, Epping, ND

Located on one of the upper bays of Lake Sakakawea, Lewis & Clark State Park provides visitors with an unparalleled view of the famous North Dakota Badlands. Few places in the state can boast such a serene and breathtaking combination of land and water. Famous for its excellent walleye and northern pike fishing, the park is also known for its washed sand beaches and excellent hiking trails. The 490-acre Lewis & Clark State Park also includes campgrounds, sleeping cabins, a full-service marina, a boat ramp, picnic shelters, and a fully-functional RV dump station.

Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, Mandan, ND

For history buffs, the 1,006-acre Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is for you. From this fort, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer along with the Seventh Cavalry, rode out on what was a deadly expedition against the Sioux at Little Big Horn. Parts of the military post, including the Custer House, have been rebuilt. The park is also home to the On-A-Slant Indian Village, which includes the reconstructed earth lodges of the 16th century Mandan Indians. In addition, Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park includes 6.75 miles of groomed trails, campgrounds, picnic shelters, a visitor’s center, RV dump station, and horse corals. 

Fort Ransom State Park, Fort Ransom, ND

Located in the scenic Sheyenne River Valley, the 950-acre Fort Ransom State Park is known for its canoeing and kayaking opportunities in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails in the winter. The 14.64-mile trail system is also a popular destination for summer hikers. The park includes a campground, RV dump station, picnic shelters, a playground, and several historical building and interpretive opportunities. Located three miles south of the park is the original Fort Ransom, which was established in 1867 to guard the trail from Fort Abercrombie to the Missouri River. 

Cross Ranch State Park, Center, ND

The 589-acre Cross Ranch State Park is located along the gorgeous Missouri River, and it has been purposely left primitive to protect the land’s natural beauty. A popular location for walleye, bass, and pike fishing, the park is also known for its canoeing and kayaking potential. With a trail system that extends over 16 miles combined with the adjacent 6,000-acre Cross Ranch Nature Preserve, hikers and nature enthusiasts can enjoy one of the richest and most authentic locations in the state.

Fort Stevenson State Park, Garrison, ND

The north shore of Lake Sakakawea is home to another great park in Fort Stevenson. Known as the walleye capital of North Dakota, the park is home to many fishing tournaments, including the Governor’s Cup Walleye Fishing Derby. The 549-acre park includes a campground, visitor center, boat ramp, arboretum, prairie dog town, an RV dump station, two marinas, and an 8.13-mile groomed, multi-use trail system. Boats, pontoons, bikes, canoes, paddleboats, and kayaks are available for rental. 

Graham’s Island State Park, Devils Lake, ND

Located on North Dakota’s largest lake, the 1,122-acre park is home to some of the state’s best fishing during all four seasons. A popular hiking, snow shoeing, and cross-country skiing location, the park offers a wide variety of activities that take advantage of all North Dakota has to offer. Graham’s Island also features a campground, RV dump station, activity center, boat ramp, bait shop, picnic shelters, and a playground.

Icelandic State Park, Cavalier, ND

Located on the north shore of Lake Renwick, the 912-acre park is home to the Pioneer Heritage Center, restored historic buildings, the Gunlogson Homestead, and a 200-acre Nature Preserve. The natural wooded area along the Tongue River is a sanctuary for the plants, birds, and wildlife that depict the natural beauty of the state. Boating, swimming, and fishing opportunities abound in the summer, while hiking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are popular in the winter. The park also includes a campground, RV dump station, visitor’s center, boat ramp, fishing dock, groomed beach, picnic shelters, and a playground.

Lake Metigoshe State Park, Bottineau, ND

Located within the magnificent Turtle Mountains on the shores of Lake Metigoshe, this 1,551-acre park is a hot spot among nature and photography fans. The Chippewa named the lake “Metigoshe Washegum” which translates to “clear water lake surrounded by oaks.” Anglers flock from all over to try their hand at catching northern pike and walleye. Hikers are drawn to the park’s Old Oak Trail and National Recreation Trail. The park also features a campground, RV dump station, kitchen, boat ramp, canoe, kayak, ski, and snowshoe rentals. 

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152 S. Duncan Road, Devils Lake, ND
This boat access area has two single-lane boat ramps and a large parking area for boat trailers. No overnight camping is permitted. Read More
152 South Duncan Road, Devils Lake, ND
Grahams Island State Park is located on the ever-changing shores of Devils Lake. This hidden treasure is heavily wooded and surrounded by miles of ... Read More
7 miles east of Devils Lake on Highway 2, then 5 miles south and 3 miles west, Devils Lake, ND
History:Black Tiger Bay is part of Devils Lake, the biggest natural lake found in North Dakota. Many legends have surrounded the lake since the tim... Read More
201-299 13th St SW, Jamestown, ND
Peppers Dog Park consists of approximately 2 acres.  Peppers Dog Park consists of two fenced in areas for small and large dogs.  Water an... Read More
3850 70th St. SE, Wishek, ND
Beaver Lake State Park provides an escape from the rigors of everyday life, offering a relaxing atmosphere in a secluded outdoor setting next to a ... Read More
5981 Walt Hjelle Parkway, Wishek, ND
HistoryIn 1884, J.J. Doyle, the son of a wealthy homestead owner, arrived in what used to be the village of Wishek and settled in the area. He had ... Read More
5700 East Main Avenue, Bismarck, ND
A family owned business that offers full service camping and RV storage at affordable rates located in Bismarck, ND Free wireless Internet ... Read More
Doyle Memorial Recreation Area provides fun for the whole family. We have great camping with RV power, or tenting, showers, boat ramp and boat dock... Read More
Corner of North 4th Street and East Century Avenue, Bismarck, ND
Big Paws Field is for dogs over 30 pounds. Wiggly Field is for dogs less than 30 pounds and Fetch Field is for all dogs and owners interested in a ... Read More
321 E Century Ave,, Bismarck, ND
As a part of AARP's 60th Anniversary, AARP launched an ambitious effort in 2019 to create 53 fitness parks – one each in all 50 states, the D... Read More
910 103rd Ave NE, Killdeer, ND
HistoryEstablished in 1971, Little Missouri State Park is one of the newest state parks in North Dakota. Perhaps because it is a relatively young p... Read More
1403 River Road, Center, ND
Cross Ranch State Park is located along some of the last free-flowing and undeveloped stretches of the Missouri River. While exploring Cross Ranch ... Read More
4480 Fort Lincoln Rd, Mandan, ND
Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, established in 1907, is the oldest state park in North Dakota and provides a variety of unique adventures to trave... Read More
Butte St. Paul was named by pioneer Missionary George Anthony Belcourt, the second pastor in North Dakota’s history. It was once considered t... Read More
14 miles northeast, Bottineau, ND
Nestled in the scenic Turtle Mountains on the shores of Lake Metigoshe, Lake Metigoshe State Park was constructed by the Works Progress Administrat... Read More
Pelican Point is managed as a non-developed recreation area. Day use public access is allowed by foot however, no formal trail system, water or toi... Read More
#2 Lake Metigoshe State Park, Bottineau, ND
This picnic area offers grilling locations for family picnics, a sand volleyball court, vault toilet facilities, free parking and a fishing dock fo... Read More
2 Lake Metigoshe State Park, Bottineau, ND
History:The Lake Metigoshe area was home to several Native American tribes, including the Blackfoot and Hidatsa, and later the Assiniboine and Chip... Read More
Bottineau Winter Park Inc, Bottineau, ND
Bottineau Winter Park is located in the Turtle Mountains and is one of the most beautiful areas of North Dakota. This region is rich in many recrea... Read More
1252A 41st Ave NW, Garrison, ND
Fort Stevenson State Park is nestled in the bluffs along the north shore of Lake Sakakawea. With miles of trails, a wide variety of rental equipmen... Read More
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