North Dakota

Bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

North Dakota is a state in the Great Plains of the United States. It is bordered on the west by Montana, on the east by Minnesota, on the south by South Dakota, and on the north by the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba. North Dakota, the 39th state, was admitted to the Union in 1889. The year 2005 marked the bicentennial celebration of the Lewis and Clark expedition which began in Illinois and passed through North Dakota on the way to the Pacific Northwest, with help from a Shoshone Indian girl, Sakakawea, as their guide. North Dakota's 53 counties cover approximately 70,655 square miles (183,000 km2) and has a population of 672,591 in 2010 census.

Regions

Cities

Other destinations

Understand

North Dakota is a large, sparsely populated state. It was settled in the 1890s mainly by farmers of Scandinavian and German descent. North Dakota's population has scarcely changed since 1915, but its urban-to-rural ratio has changed dramatically over the years. One-sixth of the people in the state live in Fargo, and that figure is growing all the time. The state's economy is based on its agriculture, food processing, mining, tourism and machinery.

North Dakota is the least-visited state in the union, not surprising given its location. But there is something to be found for those willing to venture into the unknown. North Dakota is living proof that there is much to see and do off the beaten tourist path and in small towns. Outdoor activities abound year round: hiking, biking, camping (tent and RV), boating, fishing, sailing, tubing, birding, photography, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, archery, and more. If you fancy disc golf, there are fourteen regulation courses in the state. Or you can simply take a scenic drive through hills and lakes, badlands, or plains. Military buffs will enjoy visiting the old frontier forts. Nature lovers can see hundreds of species of birds, animals, fish, and wildflowers. Geological formations of almost every type are here. You can dig for fossils or hunt for unique mineral specimens.

North Dakota is a significant state to Native Americans. It holds many holy-sites that are important to Native American History, and Spirituality. It has been reported that many of these holy sites have been abused by tourists. Some reports include tourists using the Native American's holy sites as restrooms. North Dakota is known to be untouched, most of these holy sites are yet to be discovered. When visiting these Native American holy sites, it is recommended to NEVER take an object off the ground especially if it resembles Native American art, these objects are hopefully going to continue being undisturbed in the vast graveyard known as North Dakota.

Famous North Dakotans include: former CBS newsman Eric Sevareid (Velva, ND), actress Angie Dickinson (Kulm, ND), "Fever" singer Peggy Lee (Jamestown, ND), "bubbling machine" bandleader Lawrence Welk (Strasburg, ND), and author Louis L'Amour (Jamestown, ND).

Get in

By plane

Scheduled airline service is available in Bismarck, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Minot, and Williston.

Delta Air Lines offers daily flights to all destinations.

United Express serves Bismarck and Fargo.

Allegiant Air serves Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot.

Frontier Airlines also serve Bismarck and Fargo.

Great Lakes Airlines Dickinson and Williston.

By car

Interstate 94 runs east-west through the southern side of the state. Interstate 29 runs north-south on the eastern edge of the state.

U.S. Highway 2 runs east-west through the northern side of the state. U.S. Highways 85, 83, 281, and 81 run north-south through the state. U.S. Highway 52 runs northwest-southeast through the state.

For those arriving from Canada, 24-hour customs stations are available at SK 39 (U.S. 52) in Portal, MB 10 (U.S. 281) at the Peace Gardens, and MB 75 (I-29) near Pembina.

By train

Amtrak's Empire Builder line serves Fargo, Grand Forks, Devils Lake, Rugby, Minot, Stanley, and Williston.

Get around

The best way to get around the state is by car.

By rural bus

By official transit

Information on North Dakota Transit can be found here

See

Do

An Education Vacation in agriculture is one recommended way to experience North Dakota Agri-Tourism. Discover North Dakota's Ranches, Farms and Gardens, see it all from the seat of a saddle, or just stop and take a moment to appreciate the waving greens, the golden amber waves of grain, and the immense modern farm equipment.

Though the individual tribes have distinct and different origins, histories and languages, Plains Indians are united by core beliefs and values that emanate from respect for the earth and an understanding of humankind's relationship with nature. Visitors are welcome to explore the reservations and discover the beauty of Indian culture.

With 17 State Parks and Recreation Areas and countless local camping facilities, North Dakota is a great place to camp. There is abundant activity available in every park. Pack the s'mores, sing some campfire songs, and keep an eye towards the sky in case the Northern Lights join your party.

•Agriculture

•American Indian Studies

•Art

•Birding

•Culinary Arts

•Living History

•ND Immigrant Cultures

•Paleontology

Stay safe

Urban concerns

Industrial oil development, mainly taking place in the area between Minot, Williston, and Dickinson, has made most highways unsafe for bicyclists. Crime has significantly increased, especially in Williston, which has doubled in size in a few short years.

Rural concerns

The poisonous rattlesnake can be stumbled on by mistake. Rattlesnakes should be avoided and never disturbed. Cougars or Mountain Lions are found in Central and Western North Dakota, occasionally even inside city limits. Never wander into remote places in North Dakota without a defensive weapon or plan in case of a cougar attack, which they will do. Bison may be beautiful but a male bison can run faster than you can and may trample or maul if it feels threatened. Always maintain a safe distance (30 yards or more) from large animals. Coyotes have been known to venture into campgrounds and can have rabies. Otherwise coyotes won't threaten humans. Pets should be brought indoors at night. A dog can become a snack to a group of coyotes, especially small dogs. Deer are known to cross roads all over North Dakota so drive aware of deer crossings, especially in the early morning or dusk hours.

Never forget that North Dakota's peaceful valleys can give way to challenging ravines and trenches, raging rivers and clay roads, cactus and thorns. A walk around Lake Sakakawea's beautiful shores can turn into a rescue mission, since lakes are deep shorelines are sometimes unsteady. Rivers can be unforgiving; a child left on a sandbar playing might wander into the swift currents of the Missouri. Life-jackets are a must. In winter people have frozen to death by getting lost on snow-covered fields or roads. Lakes can ice over in the winter, but be sure you know the thickness and quality of the ice before venturing out. (Ask a local if unsure.) Never explore North Dakota in the winter without proper gear. Blaze orange clothing during deer season is a must.

Much of North Dakota's most beautiful scenery is untouched. You are likely to be perfectly safe in North Dakota's cities and on highways. But when you travel away from the highways to reach the great scenery North Dakota has to offer, be sure to have a travel companion (or notify a trusted person of your travel plans) and plenty of supplies in case you become stranded. Since North Dakota is one of America's least populated states, there is a lot of untouched land for you to explore.

Go next

If you're leaving North Dakota by car, you may wish to take Interstate 29 north to Winnipeg, or Interstate 94 east to Minneapolis. The adventurous might choose to drive US 85 straight through the Badlands south to Sturgis, either to see the motorcycle rally, or en route to Mount Rushmore National Memorial and other attractions of the Badlands and Black Hills.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, December 06, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.