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Field trips are a great way to reboot a bad homeschooling week, get out of the house when everyone has cabin fever, and learn about your local area. Before heading out, check out Jeanne's tips for improving homeschool field trips.
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Quicklinks for Homeschooling in North Dakota
Lewis & Clark, in their quest for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, opened a window onto the west for the young United States.
The North Country National Scenic Trail is the longest continuous hiking trail winding its way through seven states.
Turtle River State ParkArvilla
Situated on the meandering Turtle River, Turtle River State Park is located in a beautiful wooded valley. Constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the park offers year-round recreational activities, including camping, picnicking, fishing and trails for hiking, mountain biking and cross country skiing. Rustic group cabins can also be rented. The Turtle River is stocked with rainbow trout, and youngsters can borrow fishing gear at the park office.
Lake Metigoshe State ParkBottineau
Nestled in the scenic Turtle Mountains on the shores of Lake Metigoshe, Lake Metigoshe State Park was constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s and is one of the most popular year-round vacation spots in North Dakota. The Chippewa called the lake "Metigoshe Washegum," or "clear water lake surrounded by oaks." Today, the lake is noted for its northern pike, walleye and perch. The rolling hills, aspen forests and small lakes attract nature and photography lovers to the area to capture these sights on film. The Old Oak Trail, a National Recreation Trail, is found within the park boundaries.
Icelandic State ParkCavalier
Located on the north shore of Lake Renwick, Icelandic State Park offers visitors not only a wide array of recreational opportunities, but also glimpses of North Dakota's homesteading heritage and its natural beauty.
Cross Ranch State ParkCenter
Cross Ranch Centennial State Park is rich in both cultural and natural history. The park is purposely left primitive to preserve the land's natural beauty. The River Peoples Visitor Center has displays and information about the once mighty Missouri River, which has now been tamed through a series of major dams and reservoirs along its length. A boat ramp is available for those wishing to explore this scenic segment of the river, while anglers will find walleye, pike and bass in its waters. Canoe rentals are also available.
Grahams Island State ParkDevils Lake
Devils Lake--North Dakota's largest natural lake--is home to a 1,142-acre park system including Grahams Island State Park and a boat access area on the east side of the lake, named Black Tiger Bay State Recreation Area. The lake is a closed drainage basin, marked by periods of fluctuating water levels. Over the past decade the lake has risen over 25 feet. Grahams Island State Park is connected by road over an elevated embankment, and travelers should exercise caution during high winds. The lake features some of the best fishing in North Dakota, both summer and winter. Amenities at Grahams Island State Park include a boat ramp, bait shop, modern and primitive camping facilities and camping cabins.
Little Missouri State ParkDunn Center
Wind, water and sand... these components sculpted North Dakota's wildly rugged Little Missouri Breaks Country. Called "Mako Shika" or "where the land breaks" by the Sioux, these unusual land formations offer the state's most awe-inspiring scenery. Some of the most picturesque Badlands scenery can be found at Little Missouri State Park. Most of this primitive park is accessible only on foot or horseback.
This scenic overlook just west of New Town provides views of Four Bears Bridge and Lake Sakakawea. During period of low water, glimpses can be seen of the town of Sanish, now covered by Lake Sakakawea. Interpretive signs about the creation of the lake have been placed at the site.
Lewis & Clark State ParkEpping
Lewis and Clark State Park is situated on one of the upper bays of Lake Sakakawea. The rugged buttes of the North Dakota Badlands display a towering backdrop to one of the state's best recreation areas. The park, of course, is named for the Corps of Discovery explorers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. The expedition camped nearby on April 17, 1805, and an interpretive trail marker has been placed within the park to commemorate their historic journey through North Dakota.
Plains Art MuseumFargo
Throughout its history, the Museum has collected, preserved, exhibited and interpreted art. Today, its permanent collection contains approximately 3,000 works including national and regional contemporary art, traditional American Indian art, and traditional folk art.
Fort Ransom State ParkFt. Ransom
North Dakota's homesteading heritage is preserved at Fort Ransom State Park. The park, nestled in the picturesque and heavily-wooded Sheyenne River Valley, officially opened in July 1979. This park is managed as a natural and scenic area, and is located on one of North Dakota's officially designated Scenic Byways and Backways. The park is open for camping and picnicking year-round. Canoeing is popular on the Sheyenne River during the summer, with canoe and kayak rentals available in the park. A short segment of the North Country National Scenic Trail winds through the park. Corrals and trails are provided for groups bringing in their own horses. Those bringing in livestock must use certified weed-free hay, which is available for sale at the park.
Indian Hills State Recreation Area and Resort is operated by a private leasee. Amenities include camping, modern and primitive cabins, and a full-service marina with camp store and fishing guide service.
Fort Stevenson State ParkGarrison
On the north shore of giant Lake Sakakawea, Ft. Stevenson State Park is known as the walleye capital of North Dakota. A favorite spot for sportsmen to experience the great fishing on the lake, it is home to the Governor's Cup Walleye Fishing Derby, as well as a variety of other fishing tournaments. Visitors will find a modern campground, sleeping cabins, visitor center, interpretive trails and prairie dog town, as well as boat launching facilities. Due to low lake levels, the park's marina, swim beach and concession are closed.
The North Dakota Museum of ArtGrand Forks
The North Dakota Museum of Art is the official art museum of the State of North Dakota. It is a private not-for-profit institution managed by its own Board of Trustees. The North Dakota Museum of Art Foundation manages the Museum's endowment.
Rich in both military and early Native American history, Fort Abraham Lincoln was once an important infantry and cavalry post. It was from this fort that Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Cavalry rode out on their ill-fated expedition against the Sioux at the Little Big Horn. Portions of the military post, including the Custer House, have been reconstructed. Popular with visitors is On-A-Slant Indian Village. Reconstructed earthlodges depict the lifestyle of the Mandan Indians, who occupied this site from about 1575-1781. A modern campground is located in a scenic wooded area adjacent to the Heart River with picnic sites and playground equipment. Walking along the gently sloping hills, visitors have a panoramic vista of the Missouri River from the park's nature and historic trails.
Theodore Roosevelt first came to the badlands in September 1883 on a hunting trip. While here he became interested in the cattle business and invested in the Maltese Cross Ranch. He returned the next year and established the Elkhorn Ranch. Years later he stated several times, "I never would have been President if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota."
Located in the heart of the North Dakota badlands, Sully Creek is just minutes away from the historic town of Medora and Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This seasonal park is open from April 1 to November 30. In the early spring or during high flows, canoeing the 274-mile long Little Missouri River offers a unique perspective of the badlands from North Dakota's only State Scenic River. Corrals are available for those bringing in their own horses. This primitive park also has a small campground with vault toilets. Horseback riders, mountain bikers and hikers have access to the 120-mile long Maah Daah Hey Trail, which traverses the Little Missouri National Grassland. Use of certified weed-free hay is required by those bringing in livestock, and is available for sale at the park.
Lake Sakakawea State ParkRiverdale
Located on the south shore of Lake Sakakawea, adjacent to Garrison Dam, Lake Sakakawea State Park offers a wide range of water based recreational activities and facilities. The park has a full service marina, including boat rentals, convenience store, fishing guide services and boat and camper storage. For information on marina services contact Captain Kit's Marina at 701-487-3600. Two large boat ramps serve the park for access to the best salmon fishing on the lake. The park hosts numerous fishing derbies throughout the summer.
Explore the lives of the Northern Plains Indians on the Upper Missouri - Step into a reconstructed earthlodge and imagine boiling buffalo meat in a clay pot or pounding corn with a mortar and pestle. View the artistry of everyday and ceremonial clothing, bags, and implements. Listen to memories of traditional Hidatsa Indian life, then walk to Sakakawea Village site, where earthlodge depressions hint of life in a vibrant village, alive with games, ceremonies, and trade.
The Grandest Fort on the Upper Missouri - Fort Union Trading Post was the most important fur trading post on the upper Missouri from 1828 to 1867. At this post, the Assiniboine, Crow, Cree, Ojibway, Blackfeet, Hidatsa, and other tribes traded buffalo robes and other furs for trade goods such as beads, guns, blankets, knives, cookware, and cloth.
Doyle Memorial is popular for camping, fishing and boating. This small prairie park, established in 1925, occupies a peninsula jutting into Green Lake in the rolling farmland of south central North Dakota. Although Doyle Memorial is one of the state's smaller parks, it offers great opportunities for outdoor recreation with picnic shelters, modern campsites, boat ramp and playground.
Beaver Lake State ParkWishek
The park has a colorful and historic background relating to the early settlers of Logan, McIntosh and Emmons counties. The first organized gathering to promote a state park occurred on July 14, 1929, at Shepherd's Pavilion, south of the present park site. In August of 1930, the land for the park was purchased. Today, Beaver Lake State Park is staffed year-round, with camping, picnicking and water-based activities available from mid-May through the end of September.