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So much to look forward to in 2012

As you’re getting ready to turn that calendar to a new year, grab your pen and start making plans to check out some new attractions and activities in North Dakota!

The International Peace Garden in the Turtle Mountains is known for its beauty, tranquility and symbolism. It’s a popular destination in the summer and now travelers can enjoy it in the winter. The Peace Garden has an extensive network of trails accessible for snowshoeing.  Snowshoes, walking poles and bindings can be rented from the interpretive center.  The interpretive center and conservatory are open year round.

The Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University is dedicated to preserving the legacy of America’s 26th President. A new presidential digital library gives scholars and visitors a new way to be inspired by Roosevelt.  Visit online or in-person – but be sure to package your visit with Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Always wanted to fish the Missouri River in the winter but your boat is stored away? No problem. Sakakawea Guide Service now offers unique houseboats with an opportunity to fish the Garrison Dam tailrace throughout the winter months.

Rolling Plains Adventures, near Bismarck, hosts guided hunts and ranch vacations and a new Grand Lodge will open in 2012. Based on Black Leg Ranch, the fifth generation ranchers/owners help guests discover ranch life with horseback riding and cattle drives plus home-cooked meals.

The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center expansion is slated to be open in February showcasing a new event center, library and production studio. More exhibits tell the story of the Corps of Discovery and others who journeyed through (now) North Dakota.  The Center is located in Washburn.

Also scheduled to be open in February is the new Enchanted Castle, a 20-room lodging facility in Regent – known as one stop along the Enchanted Highway. The front of the new hotel will have the appearance of a castle. Walk across the moat to enter the property.

Stay tuned for more great things coming to North Dakota in 2012.

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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Attractions, ND in the News, North Dakota Buzz

 

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Welcome to North Dakota!

Two-hundred-seven (207) years ago today, the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed into what is now North Dakota.  During their time, it was known as the Upper Missouri, or the Great Bend of the Missouri, or Upper Louisiana.   For Lewis and Clark, North Dakota was the transition zone between the familiar and the unfamiliar, between lands that had already been mapped, named and described and terra incognita.

They hadn’t originally planned to winter with the 4,500 Mandan and Hidatsa Indians of the Knife River earthlodge villages.  Clark planned to get as far as the “Rock mountains” before winter and Lewis expressed uncertainty about where they would stop.  But when the captains began to notice ice forming on their rowing oars and experienced their first northern plains snowfall on October 21, 1804, they realized that they must soon establish winter quarters.  Five days later, they made their first substantial contact with the Mandan Indians, who had a reputation for being friendly to visitors.  And they ended up staying 197 days on that outward journey.

North Dakota continues to have a welcoming and friendly reputation.  In fact, Cambridge University called North Dakota the most friendly state to visit.  And here, the Lewis & Clark story can be discovered by modern explorers.

A reconstructed Fort Mandan is a full-size replica refurbished in the era.  (The original fort burned down sometime before the expedition’s return voyage in 1806.)

At Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, Stanton, visitors can step into a reconstructed earthlodge, walk to the Sakakawea Village site, and in the modern visitors center, view traditional clothing, tools, art and more.

The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn is the comprehensive stop to learn, see and experience the Corps of Discovery.  These sites are open year-round and winter events at Fort Mandan mean you can step back into the period when Lewis and Clark walked the same trails.

Details of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in North Dakota can be found in the book, A Vast and Open Plain, written by Clay Jenkinson.

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2011 in Attractions, History

 

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Wondering about flooding in North Dakota? We’ve got the answers

The Medora Musical opens its season June 10 and will be performed nightly through September 10.

Accessible, affordable golf. Great fishing. First-class historical forts and attractions. Awesome Badlands and wildlife. Fun cities. Wild rodeos and events.  North Dakota has it and rest assured – it’s open for the summer!

As seen in the U.S. and around the world this year, Mother Nature has been unleashing some wacky weather.  Some of that has affected North Dakota due to heavy rains and mountain snowpack melt-off.  The state has been experiencing flooding in a few areas of the state and the North Dakota Tourism Division wants to make sure you have the most current information available when planning your trip or traveling our great state.

First of all – here are some go-to resources to help with your planning and navigation:

  1. The North Dakota Tourism Division website – where you can check out press releases with travel updates.
  2. The ND Dept. of Transportation – which has highway maps showing any affected travel routes.
  3. The ND Parks and Recreation Dept. – which monitors camp sites, trails and more.
  4. Our mobile site – which can help with some on-the-go contact information.

Here’s a quick update on some of the places we’re being most frequently asked about:

  • Bismarck – most attractions and golf courses are open. Raging Rivers Waterpark opens June 18 and the Super Slide Amusement Park has reopened. 
  • Devils Lake – the fishing is awesome. Road construction is taking place so just be prepared for delays.  Sullys Hill is open by appointment.  Fort Totten State Historical site is open and has new displays in the visitor center.
  • Lake Sakakawea – all resorts are open along with the state parks. Boat ramps are available.
  • Minot – the zoo is temporarily closed but most visitor services are open.
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Medora – all visitor centers are open, scenic drives are open, the Chateau de Mores is open, Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross Cabin is open with daily tours, and Bully Pulpit Golf Course has opened nine holes.  The Medora Musical is running nightly through September 10. The Juniper Campground in Theodore Roosevelt NP has reopened, trail rides are being provided and ranger programs are offered daily.  There are still some campgrounds were clean-up efforts are going on and a portion of the Maah Daah Hey trail is closed.
  • Washburn – Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site and the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center are open. Fort Mandan is inaccessible at the moment.

For a full listing, please see our latest press release.

It’s also been reported that Amtrak has restored service in North Dakota.

We want you to fully enjoy your North Dakota vacation.  So please just plan ahead, be prepared and have a great time! Then be sure to tell us about it at www.RULegendary.com – we’re giving away weekly prizes to hear your vacation stories (and see the pictures and videos too).

 

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And a great partnership sprang forward

I’m going to take you back to October 25, 1804.  The Lewis & Clark Expedition set out early under a gentle breeze, passing deserted villages of the Mandan before finally encountering several parties.  Corps member Gass wrote, “A great many of the natives, some on horseback and some on foot appeared on the hills on the north side, hallooing and singing.”

In the book, A Vast and Open Plain, editors note that the curiosity of the Mandans and Hidatsas were well known, and their apparent joy on the arrival of the Corps of Discovery was not unique.

The Corps found a place to bring boats to shore and camp, but it wasn’t until November 2, 1804 when the eventual location of Fort Mandan was chosen.  Today, visitors are welcome to tour reconstructed Fort Mandan and a beautiful Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center near Washburn – showcasing many unique artifacts and premiere history of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2010 in Attractions, History

 

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