North Country Trail Association

Central Flyway Chapter


Western terminus of the North Country National Scenic Trail within Lake Sakakawea State Park to the eastern end of Lonetree Wildlife Management Area

The mission of the Central Flyway (FLY) Chapter of the NCTA is to build, maintain and promote the North Country National Scenic Trail between Lake Sakakawea State Park and the eastern end of Lonetree Wildlife Management Area in North Dakota. The Central Flyway Chapter has a calendar full of fun events throughout the year to help people get out onto the NCNST in west-central North Dakota. Come join the fun!

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Chapter Trail Section

The Trail meanders across the Coteau du Missouri, or Missouri Plateau region of the state, characterized by rolling grasslands with abundant prairie pothole wetlands. The NCT follows along the McClusky Canal for approximately 75 miles offering a unique experience: hiking along a federal water project. Lonetree Wildlife Management Area (North Dakota's largest) was supposed to be a storage reservoir on the Garrison Diversion project, but now offers superb hiking through a variety of wildlife habitats. You will definitely see abundant waterfowl in the area and you may even see a moose within Lonetree! Amenities along the Trail include backcountry campsites, public campgrounds, small towns, public recreation areas, and tourist/historic sites.

Work is underway by the Chapter to develop additional Trail to connect the existing segments and to improve the existing Trail. If you would like to enjoy the Trail or help us build or maintain it, we encourage you to contact us to be notified of our Chapter events and periodic trail work days. We hope to see you on the Trail!

Connect and Get Involved

Join the Chapter


Getting to the Western Terminus
Map of Central Flyway Chapter's NCNST section
Campsites, Lake Sakakawea State Park to New Rockford Canal

Use the Report Trail Condition form to alert NCTA and the Chapter to poor trail conditions. Visit the Trail Alerts page while planning your adventure.

Suggested Hikes

Hike to the Western Terminus of the NCNST

Hike a figure-eight loop in Lake Sakakawea State Park: Starting at the Visitor Center, hike the NCNST to the southeast corner of the park to enjoy a great view of the Garrison Dam intake structure. Then, turn around and hike back but veer off on the park's Shoreline and Overlook Trails. (Map Option 1, Map Option 2)

Hike across Garrison Dam and through Riverdale: Starting at the eastern edge of Lake Sakakawea State Park, hike down the road below the dam overlooking the powerhouse, which generates enough power to serve several hundred thousand customers, and the National Fish Hatchery which produces more walleye and northern pike than any other facility in the world. On the east side of the dam, hike back up to the top to cross over the spillway on Highway 200 and then hike through Riverdale, the federal government's "company town" for the dam construction workers and Army Corps of Engineers staff. (Map)

Hike the NCNST across Audubon National Wildlife Refuge: Starting at the Visitor Center, hike the NCNST east across the refuge as far as you want to go among the 12 miles (map). You can take advantage of the Auto Tour Route to spot a car at a trailhead parking area (or do an out-and-back hike). Along the way you'll enjoy the vast prairie, views out onto Lake Audubon, and abundant wildlife sightings. Learn more at

Hike from the west end of West Park Lake to the Highway 41 parking area within the Chain of Lakes Recreation Area (five miles). Enjoy views of native prairie, hiking along the lakes, and get a great view of the two lakes and the McClusky Canal connecting them from up on a ridge. There are several campsites along the Trail. (Map)

Hike from the Highway 41 parking area to the east end of New Johns Lake within the Chain of Lakes Recreation Area (seven miles). Enjoy views of the scenic lakes and migratory waterfowl in the spring and fall. There are many campsites along the route. (Map)

Hike from the Jensen Campground east to Coal Mine Lake Campground within Lonetree Wildlife Management Area: Climb up to Teepee Ring Hill to enjoy expansive views, hike between Sheyenne and Coal Mine Lakes, and then hike along Coal Mine Lake to catch glimpses of waterfowl and prairie birds. Find water, restrooms, and free overnight camping in either of the Campgrounds. (Map)

Hike from 16th Street NE to 18th Street NE within Lonetree Wildlife Management Area: Hike through virgin prairie along the edge of the Sheyenne River's 100-foot-deep valley. (Map)

Additional Local Resources

Lake Sakakawea State Park
Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea / Audubon
Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery
City of Riverdale
Audubon National Wildlife Refuge
Garrison Diversion Conservancy District
Lonetree Wildlife Management Area
Chain of Lakes Recreation Area
City of Turtle Lake, Lake Brekken-Holmes Recreation Area
Hoffer Lake