Minnesota State Line
Sweeping views are the norm in North Dakota, as the North Country Trail moves through the open country of the northern Great Plains, serving up big skies, superb birding and breathtaking sunsets. Along the route, hikers will encounter a surplus of scenic landscapes, including patches of remnant prairie; prairie pothole wetlands; the Sheyenne River bottomland forest; grazing pastures for cattle and buffalo; row-crop fields of canola, sunflower, wheat and sugar beets; and rolling glacial hills. Hikers will also get a personalized lesson in North Dakota history, as they witness the state’s bonanza farms, grain-hauling railroads, dust bowl sand dunes, ghost towns, and Native American cultural sites.
The NCT route enters into North Dakota at Wahpeton after crossing the Red River of the North from Breckenridge, MN before heading north to Fort Abercrombie State Historic Site. Note: Currently, there are not any certified trail segments in the Red River Valley (ND or MN) until you get further west to the Sheyenne National Grassland.
It is near the Grassland's eastern trailhead off of Richland Co. Rd. 23 that the hiker first enters the Sheyenne River valley. You will become very familiar with North Dakota's longest river (and major Red River tributary) as the trail generally follows it for the next several hundred miles all the way out to Lonetree WMA.
Sheyenne National Grassland segment
The 28-mile stretch of the NCT within the Sheyenne National Grassland is truly a gem. It offers one of the best opportunities to walk through an "in tact" native tallgrass prairie ecosystem, see a variety of habitats, and maybe even see some rare or endangered plant or animal species (e.g. prairie chicken, western prairie fringed orchid, Dakota skipper butterfly). The tallgrass prairie ecosystem is one of the most endangered on earth. The Sheyenne National Grassland's 70,000 acres are about half of what's left of the 10 million acres found in North Dakota before European settlement.
The Sheyenne National Grasslands
The Sheyenne Grasslands are managed by the U.S. Forest Service and are the only National Grassland located in the tallgrass prairie ecoregion. Known locally as "the Sand Hills," the Grasslands have a colorful history dating back to the Great Depression era when they were acquired by the federal government to help relocate struggling farmers and re-establish productive grass cover. For more information on the history of the National Grasslands, visit the National Grasslands Primer.
During the early 2000's the U.S. Forest Service worked hard to upgrade the NCT within the Grasslands because the original route was often wet and was deeply eroded in places. They re-designed the trail to avoid pothole wetlands (that are often flooded in the spring) and also avoid steep slopes since the trail is used heavily by horses. They also constructed the trail using compacted gravel which is very durable to all trail users except cattle, which have an unfortunate habit of wallowing in the trail. The Grasslands are heavily grazed, which means that hikers will have to deal with barbed wire fences. Fortunately, the Forest Service has installed swing gates at all fence crossings that easily allow hikers to pass through fences. Hikers should be sure to check that all fences are closed after passing through them.
Access to the Trail
The North Country Trail may be easily accessed within the Grasslands at four major points spaced out along the route. These include:
- The Ransom County Rd. 54 (paved, also known as 141st Ave. SE) trailhead (ample parking & trail map, located 10 mi. east of Lisbon on Hwy 27 and 3 mi. south on Co. 54). GPS Coordinates: 46°23'55.89"N & 97°28'8.09"W
- The State Hwy 27 (paved) crossing (no designated parking area, trail is marked only by a horse crossing sign) GPS Coordinates: 46°26'31.02"N & 97°24'23.64"W
- The Ransom County Rd. 53 (gravel) crossing (no designated parking area, trail is currently not marked by a sign, swing gate is present) GPS Coordinates: 46°28'29.83"N & 97°20'35.72"W
- The Richland County Rd. 23 (gravel) trailhead (ample parking & trail map, located about 23 mi. SW of Kindred, ND) GPS Coordinates: 46°31'23.88"N & 97°12'12.36"W
Water may be obtained from the stock watering tanks found throughout the grasslands that are marked by the windmills that power them. In general, these are only operating when cattle are located in the same pasture. IF POSSIBLE, WATER SHOULD BE TAKEN DIRECTLY OUT OF THE PIPE AND NOT THE TANK AND MUST BE TREATED (boiled, filtered, or purified)! Water may also be found in some of the pothole wetlands found along the trail. These typically are full in the spring and early summer but may be dry depending upon the precipitation.
The section from the East Trailhead to Iron Springs Creek is marked more often than the rest of the NCT within the Sheyenne Grasslands. Generally speaking, there will be a Carsonite or wooden posts within view ahead on the trail. This is to allow trail users to follow the trail when the gravel path is covered by snow. It is a great place to go snowshoeing and/or backcountry XC skiing. Since this trail section falls within a designated non-motorized area, conflicts with illegal snowmobile use are few - but unfortunately - do exist. Note: Snowshoers and backcountry XC skiers are not restricted to the trail within winter.
Below is a general description of the route through the Grasslands:
- Note: There is a 2-mile section of certified NCT route that heads northeast from the east trailhead and dead-ends at the National Grasslands Boundary. This section is marked by wooden posts with blue paint blazes but the trail tread is not constructed the same way as the rest with the compacted gravel. It may be hard to follow.
0.0 -- The westbound NCT departs the eastern trailhead at Richland Co. Rd. 23. heading east then south paralleling Co. 23 before swinging west to cross the road and head west. Note: This area is potentially confusing as the eastbound old trail heads off from a short distance east of the trailhead and the old westbound trail heads off northwest from the trailhead. Both are still intermittently marked with posts with dark blue paint blazes or diamonds. The trail crosses through excellent examples of an oak savannah, through aspen parklands, and also tallgrass prairie.
3.5 -- The trail crosses Iron Spring Creek on a trail bridge. GPS Coordinates: 46°30'38.09"N & 97°15'29.94"W. This is a beautiful resting spot under ample shade cast by several large trees nearby and is also a good spot to get water (should be treated). An undesignated campsite is found on the west side of the Creek immediately before heading up the hill into the trees. Between the Creek and Co. Rd. 53 the trail passes through oak savannah, through some fine examples of the sand hills, and pass numerous little pothole wetlands that teem with wildlife.
9.3 -- The trail passes to the east of "the lookout hill" where a fire tower used to be located GPS Coordinates: N 46° 28.579' & W 97° 17.709'. This spot offers great views of the open grasslands to the west, south, and east and looks over the forested river bottom to the north.
12.8 -- The trail crosses Co. Rd. 53 (gravel) and continues heading west, passing through a cattle exclosure. Generally speaking, the trail passes through more open grassland and fewer trees west of Co. Rd. 53.
18.9 -- The trail crosses the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks after turning away from the Sheyenne River and heading south.
21.8 -- The trail crosses State Hwy 27 and then heads southwest passing through wide open prairie with one exception being a small pine plantation that offers a good, but dry, campsite.
27.8 -- The trail reaches the western trailhead at Co. Rd. 54.
For more info
More information on the Trail and the Grasslands may be obtained by contacting the U.S. Forest Service at:
Sheyenne Ranger District
District Ranger - Bryan Stotts (bstotts (at) fs.fed.us)
PO Box 946
1601 Main Street
Lisbon, North Dakota 58054
Also, a great map of the Sheyenne National Grasslands may be purchased online from the National Forest Store or from the District Office in Lisbon.
Sheyenne River Valley Chapter segment
The Sheyenne River Valley Chapter is responsible for the North Country Trail from Fort Ransom State Park in Ransom County north through Barnes County to the Steele/Griggs county line along Lake Ashtabula.
Sheyenne State Forest segment
Hikers may access the North Country Trail within the Sheyenne State Forest at the new Martinson Bridge trailhead off the 63-mile long Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway. GPS Coordinates: N 46.514° & W 97.868.° From there, hikers can go 0.5 miles east on a connector trail (gravel road) for the 1.5-mile Oak Ridge Hiking trail loop, which was the first NCT segment certified in North Dakota. This hike includes the infamous Stairway to Heaven with great views found atop the hill after the steep climb.
Hikers can also go west towards the State's only registered waterfall. The trip out to the waterfall is a very scenic 4.4 mile round-trip hike and there are two backcountry campsites found along the trail. From the trailhead, head southwest on the gravel road before turning off through the fenced gate. The trail climbs up through thick woods before cresting the partially open ridge, where great views up and down the valley are found. The trail winds in and out of the woods before dropping down to a stream valley, crossing two footbridges, and coming out to the Mineral Springs (1.6 miles from the Trailhead). Here, hikers will find the first campsite, which features a picnic table and firering but has no toilet. GPS Coordinates: Leaving the campsite the NCT eventually follows an old woods road along the edge of a pasture, through thick woods, and descends to another stream valley. After crossing two more footbridges, hikers will come out to the second backcountry campsite (again, with picnic table & firering but no toilet) which is located adjacent to the waterfall. The campsite and waterfall are located 0.6-miles from the first site and 2.2-miles from the trailhead. GPS Coordinates:
This section of the NCT is open to horse use and it receives heavy horse traffic. Fall colors are fantastic in the State Forest but beautiful views can be found year-round. The SRV chapter is currently working on obtaining easements from private landowners between Fort Ransom and the Sheyenne State Forest.
Fort Ransom State Park to Fort Ransom segment
The North Country Trail enters Fort Ransom State Park from the south along the old township road (Mill Rd.) following the NCT signs and blue blazes. Upon reaching the park boundary, the 2.5 mile NCT segment goes through the West Side Campground, past the Elm Tree Amphitheater and to the Bjone House Visitor Center and Park Office. Water and restrooms are available at the visitor center. The NCT then follows the west bank of the Sheyenne River northward past the Riverside Horse Corral and Camp Area. Now the trail opens to hay fields and restored native prairie. Views of the park's Sunne Farm (site of Sodbuster Days events) can be seen. Soon the trail will drop into a wooded section of trail right on the riverbank. You may notice tree damage from a 1999 tornado. After a short rise you will come to a park boundary fence, the current end of this segment of the North Country Trail.
The community of Fort Ransom offers a variety of services, including restaurants, lodging, Post Office, downhill skiing, and more. More information may be found online. More info on Fort Ransom State Park may be found online, by calling (701) 973-4331, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clausen Springs Recreation Area loop trail the "Ladies Line" rail trail segment to Kathryn
From the NCT trailhead in "downtown" Kathryn, the Trail follows the historic "Ladies Line" railroad grade for 4.5 miles west to the Clausen Springs State Recreation Area. Note: The trail surface is uneven ballast rock...sturdy footwear is required. Eventually, the ballast rock will be removed and the trail tread will be mowed grass. At the end of the rail trail, hikers will find a 2.5 mile loop trail around Clausen Springs Lake that passes over the dam, through some planted ponderosa pines, through a picnic area, and through prairie fields. There is a trailhead parking area by the Lake and swimming beach. The NCT is well marked with blue blazes and Carsonite posts.
Clausen Springs is a very historic area. The area near the springs has long been a campsite for Native Americans, early Plains explorers, and a stopover for military expeditions passing between Fort Ransom to Fort Totten near Devil's Lake. Clausen Springs was also the first park project in the nation funded by the federal Bureau of Outdoor Recreation (now part of the National Park Service) when Barnes County purchased it in 1967. Note: this section of trail and the dam creating the lake were heavily damaged in the spring 2009 flooding. Contact the Sheyenne River Valley Chapter (email@example.com) for updates on trail conditions.
Valley City segment
There is currently a 4.5 mile segment of certified trail through the community of Valley City. The route starts off on a paved bike trail off Kathryn Rd. S. south of town, passes under I-94 at the Exit #292 interchange, and then heads north through the woods coming out on Riverview Dr., which it follows east to 4th Ave. SW on the corner of the Valley City State University Campus. From there, the trail heads uphill into the woods towards the Medicine Wheel Park and then east on a paved trail past the Regional Tech Center. From there, the trail descends through the woods down to College Street, which it follows west through neighborhoods. The trail passes by a dam across the river from a historic flour mill and follows city sidewalks through town passing by the VCSU Campus, through City Park, and over the Sheyenne River on some historic bridges. The trail also passes by the Rosebud Visitors Center, down Main Street and Central Ave. to 12th Street on the north side of town below the famous Hi-Line railroad bridge.
More information on the full range of services available to hikers in Valley City may be found online.
Lake Ashtabula segment
A 35-mile trail segment is hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (and adjoining private landowners near Baldhill Creek) on lands along Lake Ashtabula. This storage reservoir on the Sheyenne River was formed by the building of Baldhill Dam in 1951.
- Baldhill Dam to West Ashtabula Crossing
Hikers can find the trail just south of Baldhill Dam at the canoe landing off of Co. Rd. 19. From the Corp of Engineers' Baldhill Dam office, the trail heads north along the lakeshore, passing through the Martin Wildlife Management Area (WMA), passing Katie Olson's Landing and Katie Olson WMA, through the Baldhill Creek WMA (where a backcountry campsite is located), then swings away from the lake around Baldhill Creek bay before coming back to the lakeshore, through Wieland WMA anto Co. Rd. 21 at the West Ashtabula Crossing Campground.
- West Ashtabula Crossing to Sibley Crossing
From West Ashtabula Crossing Campground, the trail follows the shoreline for 3 miles through grazed pasture, travels around one large bay before returning to the Lake Ashtabula shoreline and onto Old Hwy 26 WMA, and behind the Keyes Cabin area before reaching Sibley Crossing. At Sibley, hikers will find a cafe offering a warm meal and a city swim beach to cool off after a long day on the trail.
- Sibley Crossing to Karnak Landing
Heading northwest from Sibley Crossing the trail follows the shoreline for 6 miles and enters Sibley WMA (where the second backcountry campsite is located) before continuing under the Karnak Hi-Line railroad bridge before reaching the Karnak landing.The trail travels through grazed pastures and wild grasslands. The terrain is gently rolling and offers many scenic views of Lake Ashtabula.
- Karnak Landing to Hannaford Wildlife Management Area
Along this stretch, hikers will be witness as the lake slowly transitions into a wide marsh and then finally into the river. Hikers travel through pastures and native grasslands for four miles north of Karnak Landing. About two miles south of Hannaford WMA the trail crosses from the west side of the lake to the east side crossing on the Hannaford Bridge. Just before this the trail transitions from a lake into a wide marsh. Views back to the Karnak railroad bridge are available on this route.
To utilize the backcountry campsites hikers should obtain a free permit in advance from the Corps of Engineers office. If you'd like more information on the Trail along Lake Ashtabula you may call Scott Tichy, Park Ranger at (701) 845-2970 or email him at scott.c.tichy(at)usace.army.mil.
HIKING MAPS: The NCT segments through Valley City and the southern 2/3 along the Lake Ashtabula are found on NCTA hiking map ND-104
New Rockford Canal segment
The NCT follows gravel roads that run parallel to the New Rockford Canal, which starts north of the town of New Rockford, runs west for approximately 42 miles through Wells and Eddy Counties, and ends on the east side of the Lonetree Wildlife Management Area south of Harvey. These roads are supposed to be closed to public access but some people do drive on them to access the canal. The route is marked by posts but hikers are free to walk anywhere and may see abundant wildlife in the canal depending upon water levels.
This canal was built to take Missouri River water east from the Lonetree storage reservoir (never built) to the Sheyenne River which would take it onto the Red River valley in southeastern North Dakota. It is part of the larger Garrison Diversion project that has not been completed.
Lonetree Wildlife Management Area segment
A 32-mile stretch of the NCT is found within the Lonetree Wildlife Management Area (WMA), located southwest of the community of Harvey. This area has a unique history as it was acquired by and still owned by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Garrison Diversion Project but is managed as a Wildlife Management Area by the North Dakota Game & Fish Department. Lonetree was going to be the site of a massive storage reservoir.
Within Lonetree, the Trail passes through a variety of habitats including prairie wetlands, native prairie, planted native grasses, wildlife food plots, and a whole host of trees and shrubs. A wide diversity of wildlife is also present in the area, including abundant bird life such as migratory waterfowl (ducks, geese, swans), sharp-tailed grouse, ring-necked pheasant, and gray partridge. The area also contains white-tailed deer, coyotes, and moose. The trail is marked by yellow Carsonite posts that display the official NCT emblem. They are placed at a short enough distance so that the next post is visible although some posts may be missing or knocked down. In some places the trail is mowed, in others hikers follow the posts through prairie grasses, while in other places the trail follows minimally-maintained and lightly-travelled section line roads. Hikers may hike parallel to these roads if they wish.
Below is a guide to the Lonetree section:
0.0 -- The trail crosses ND Hwy 3 south of Harvey where the New Rockford Canal crosses under the road. The trail follows the Canal southwest to its western end just east of 19th Street, where it enters the Lonetree WMA. The trail follows along 19th Street to a small trailhead parking area, located about a mile and a half mile west of Hwy 3. GPS Coordinates: N 47°41'17.01" & W 99°56'40.44". After climbing a hill, the trail leaves 19th Street heading southwest through the prairie and generally paralleling the Sheyenne River. The terrain is rolling hills and views down into the river valley are frequent.
4.4 -- After crossing through a shelterbelt planting, the trail reaches 18th Street, where a small parking area is located about 0.1 mile west of the crossing (GPS Coordinates: N 47°40'25.47" & W 99°59'39.13"), and heads south again paralleling the river through a stretch of native prairie before crossing the Sheyenne River on 16th Street. Note: The road leading up to the box culvert was washed out following the 2009 spring flooding. As of July '09, hikers can scramble across with minor difficulty. The road is slated for repair Water may be obtained here. West of the River, the trail heads uphill northwest to 25th Ave. through native prairie. It follows 25th Ave. north for a short distance to bypass a wetland.
8.3 -- The trail reaches the intersection of 24th Ave. and 17th Street. The trail follows 17th Street west and then heads south on 23rd Ave, on which it crosses the Sheyenne River. It then leaves the road heading west passing by the Game & Fish Department's Faul Campground with water pump, tent pads, and a vault toilet. GPS Coordinates: N47°39'6.05" & W100° 4'10.31"
11.1 -- The trail reaches 22nd Ave. and then follows it north to 17th Street, crossing the Sheyenne River again. Here, the river looks like a wide, grassy marsh. Across from where the trail comes out on 22nd Ave. is a short side trail that leads to a historic site where a sod house was once located. The trail follows 17th Street west for a mile and third before heading northwest, crossing 20th Ave., and then coming out to 19th Ave, which it follows north to 18th Street.
15.7 -- The trail reaches 18th Street again and then heads east for a short ways and then north along the eastern edge of Coal Mine Lake. The trail crosses over a dam at the lake's outlet which releases water into the Sheyenne River. Note: During times of high water, hikers may want to follow an alternate route instead of passing over the lake's outlet structure. Instead, follow 18th Street east to 21st Ave. heading north to the entrance road to the Coal Mine Lake Campground. The trail passes through the Game & Fish Department's Coal Mine Lake campground. Here, hikers will find free camping, a water pump, and a vault toilet. GPS Coordinates: N47°40'42.49" & W100° 8'19.62". For the next 5 miles the trail follows close to the shores of Coal Mine and Sheyenne Lakes with abundant views of waterfowl and other wildlife.
18.7 -- The trail comes out to 19th Street and follows it through the narrows between Coal Mine and Sheyenne Lakes. Here the trail lies within Sheyenne Lake National Wildlife Refuge, which is an easement refuge administered by the Audubon NWR further west. Before reaching Hwy 14, the trail climbs to the top of a round hill which contains remnants of tepee rings. Here, hikers will enjoy fine views in all directions and can easily see why Native Americans used to camp there in the summer.
21.1 -- The trail crosses ND Hwy 14 and then within 0.5 miles passes by ND Game & Fish's Jensen campground with water pump and a vault toilet. GPS Coordinates: N47°41'44.26" & W100°14'21.77".
22.8 -- The trail comes out to 15th Ave, follows it to the north, and then follows 20th Street to the west. Here, the Trail is still paralleling the Sheyenne River and it can occasionally be seen in the distance along with several lakes. The trail leaves 20th Street heads up a short promontory point, then angles to the northwest across some patches of remnant prairie. The trail crosses 13th Ave. and swings to the southwest where it comes in close proximity to the Sheyenne River yet again. After passing Lonetree WMA's boundary, the trail reaches the interesting outlet structure for the McClusky Canal. After climbing up a steep eroding road, the trail reaches a small trailhead parking area about 0.75 north of 19th Street. GPS Coordinates: N47°41'44.58" & W100°20'8.97". The trail then follows the east side of the canal heading south.
28.1 -- The trail reaches 19th Street on which it crosses over the Canal, and then follows along the west side of the Canal.
More information on the NCT within Lonetree WMA may be obtained by contacting Scott Peterson of the ND Game & Fish Dept. at (701) 324-2211 or by email at speterso (at) nd.gov.
HIKING MAPS: The NCT in Lonetree and a portion of the McClusky Canal is found on NCTA Hiking Map ND-109.
McClusky Canal segment
The NCT currently follows gravel roads along the McClusky Canal for 74 miles from Lonetree Wildlife Management Area west to its intake structure at Audubon Lake within Audubon National Wildlife Refuge. The western 20 miles is shown on NCTA's hiking map #ND-111 while the eastern 20 miles is shown on hiking map #ND-109. The middle 30 miles are found on hiking map #ND-110 (Note: both 111 and 109 are not currently available).
Along the way hikers will pass by several Wildlife Development Areas, Waterfowl Production Areas, the "Deep Cut" by State Hwy 200, and the communities of Turtle Lake and McClusky, both of which offer a full array of hiker services.
See the brief history under the New Rockford Canal segment above for more info and links on the McClusky Canal's history and management.
Audubon NWR to Lake Sakakawea State Park segment
There is currently no certified trail between the western end of the McClusky Canal at Lake Audubon and Lake Sakakawea State Park. But, hikers may still traverse this scenic region through a mix of public lands and on lightly used gravel roads. Unfortunately, the NPS & NCTA have been unable to obtain permission from local land managers to develop new segments of the NCT and, consequently, a significant re-route is currently being investigated for this area. The area is covered by NCTA's hiking map #ND-111.
To continue west from the western end of the McClusky Canal, hikers will have to roadwalk including following the Refuge's 8-mile long Auto Tour Route to their Visitor's Center. Beyond the Visitor's Center, hikers should continue west to Wolf Creek State Game Management Area, which hugs the south shoreline of Lake Sakakakwea. Overnight camping is available at the Army Corps of Engineers' Wolf Creek Recreation Area. South of Wolf Creek WMA, hikers may roadwalk to get to Riverdale, the town established by the federal government for workers building Garrison Dam. Some services are available in town, visit Riverdale's website for more info. West of Riverdale, hikers have a couple of options. They may walk over the top of Garrison Dam on ND Hwy 200 or they may drop down east of the dam's overflow spillway, cross the Riverdale WMA and Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery facilities, pass the Corps of Engineers' Downstream Campground, and then climb back up on the dam's western side above the powerhouse. Across Hwy 200 hikers will enter Lake Sakakawea State Park, where a 1.8 mile segment of certified trail is found. More info on this segment is found below.
Lake Audubon and Lake Sakakawea are massive. Together, it is one of the three largest man-made reservoirs in the nation with a surface area of about 368,000 acres and it reaches 178 miles upstream to Williston, ND. It was formed by the damming of the Missouri River with the construction of Garrison Dam in the 1950's. Lake Audubon was formed when the causeway for U.S. Hwy 83 was constructed.
For more info:
- Audubon NWR - contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
- Lake Sakakawea - contact the Army Corps of Engineers (701-654-7411; Email: DLL-CENWO-GARRISON@nwo02.usace.army.mil)
- Wolf Creek Game Management Area - contact Dan Halstead at the ND Game & Fish Department's Riverdale Office (406 Dakota Ave., Riverdale, ND 58565, Phone: 701-654-7475)
HIKING MAPS: This area is contained within NCTA Hiking Map ND-111.
Lake Sakakawea State Park segment - the Western Terminus!
There is currently a 1.8 mile certified segment within Lake Sakakawea State Park (or LSSP for short). Hikers, however, will find more hiking to be had within the Park including some great loop hike opportunities using the NCT. A LSSP trail map may be downloaded or hikers may purchase NCTA hiking map #ND-111.
0.0 -- The NCT leaves a gravel road just off of St. Hwy 200 (gravel road goes to a trailhead parking area) and enters an open prairie and then some woods.
0.5 -- Hikers will reach the junction with the Shoreline Trail coming in on the right. The Shoreline Trail (0.6 mi.) loops back around to the NCT. There is a backcountry toilet here. The NCT crosses open prairie, goes around an old shelterbelt tree planting, and then crosses some wooded ravines.
1.1 -- The NCT reaches the junction with the short (0.25 mi.) Whitetail Trail, which also loops off to the right and then back to the NCT and offers some great views of the lake. The NCT continues into the woods.
1.2 -- Reach the second Shoreline Trail junction coming in from the right. Note: The NCT follows the Shoreline Trail for the next 1/3 mile.
1.3 -- Reach the intersection with the 0.4 mi. Overlook Trail, which takes off on the left and then loops back to the NCT. The Overlook Trail offers some of the best views of the Lake and Garrison Dam in the park.
1.6 -- The NCT leaves the Shoreline Trail which continues north along the lake's old shoreline (lake water levels been much lower of late due to a prolonged drought) to the Van Hook Campground. The NCT climbs up through a steep, wooded ravine.
1.7 -- The Overlook Trail comes back in from the left and the NCT swings to the northwest in an open prairie.
1.8 -- The NCT reaches its western terminus, which is marked by a large sign located just shy of the LSSP Visitors Center / Office building. Be sure to check out the Visitors Center to learn more about the Park's amenities (includes campgrounds, marina with boat rentals and restaurant, cabins/shelters, etc.) and be sure to sign their NCT trail register book.
For more info on the NCT within Lake Sakakawea State Park, contact Park Manager and NCT friend Jon Tunge at:
PO Box 732 Riverdale, ND 58565 (701) 487-3315 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org