Explore North Dakota: A Guide to the Different Types of National Parks

North Dakota is a state with a diverse natural landscape, from the badlands to the prairies. While it doesn’t have traditional national parks, it is home to a national park site and other protected areas that highlight the state’s unique features. Here are some notable national park sites and protected areas in North Dakota:

1. Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located in the western part of North Dakota and is named after the 26th President of the United States, who once ranched in the area. The park is divided into three units: the North Unit, South Unit, and Elkhorn Ranch Unit. It features stunning badlands landscapes, wildlife such as bison and wild horses, hiking trails, scenic drives, and camping opportunities. The park also pays tribute to President Roosevelt’s conservation legacy.

2. Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site is situated in central North Dakota and preserves the archaeological remnants of Native American villages. The site offers insights into the lives and culture of the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes that inhabited the area for centuries. Visitors can explore the reconstructed earth lodges, learn about traditional Native American crafts and agricultural practices, and enjoy interpretive programs.

3. Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site

Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site is located near the Montana-North Dakota border and commemorates the history of the fur trade in the region. The site features reconstructed fort buildings and offers insights into the economic and cultural exchanges between European traders and Native American tribes. Visitors can take guided tours, explore the fort’s exhibits, and learn about the area’s rich history.

These national park sites and historic sites in North Dakota provide opportunities to explore the state’s natural landscapes, learn about its cultural heritage, and engage in various educational and recreational activities. From the badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National Park to the historic trading posts, these sites offer unique experiences and a glimpse into North Dakota’s past.