TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT IN NORTH DAKOTA BY BIKE

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT IN NORTH DAKOTA BY BIKE

Adrian Ciocirlan

 

North Dakota, here we come! Hard to check only 10 spots, but here there are the best of the best!

1. Bismarck 

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Situated on the banks of the Missouri River, Bismarck, North Dakota, is a fast growing modern city.

The Cathedral District, with the imposing art deco Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, is the city’s historic neighborhood. Features of interest are the art-deco State Capitol, built in the 1930s, along with other interesting architecture and the wonderful city parks offering great outdoor adventures, from hiking and fishing to exploring historic attractions. So, you have lots of place to go for a ride. You can make an exception, though, and take a pleasant cruise to explore the Upper Missouri River with Lewis and Clark Riverboat Cruises. You will see the beautiful and scenic countryside. Lunch, afternoon, and evening cruises are available.

Before leaving Bismarck, hop on your bike and take a look at North Dakota Heritage Center that contains the permanent collection of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, focused on everything from prehistoric times to the 20th century.

 

2. Fargo

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North Dakota's largest city gained a certain measure of modern fame with its 1996 movie namesake.

But Fargo is more than a city of friendly folks and flat accents. This place is different.

It’s unfamiliar ground, but it’s ground you want to spend time on. The notion that everyone here is a little provincial? That's Hollywood fiction.

Downtown Fargo (population 109,779) offers appealing shops and restaurants, a boutique hotel, and a beautifully restored cinema, all within easy walking distance from each other. Across the Red River in Moorhead, Minnesota, the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County is a fascinating historical counterpoint to ever-hipper Fargo. Visit the Plains Art Museum, explore the Fargo Air Museum, and learn about the local history at Bonanzaville USA on your weekend trip to Fargo, the largest city in North Dakota. Best things to do in Fargo, ND with kids include the Children's Museum at Yunker Farm and in Lindenwood Park.

 

3. Medora

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Stepping into Medora  is like walking into the Old West and from the first glimpse of the town, it is captivating.

For a special local flavor, go to The Medora Musical, the rootin'-tootinest, boot-scootinest show in all the west! There's no other show quite like it.

All summer long from June 2 to September 9. Or pay a visit to the Chateau de Mores! Is perfect for the historian in all of us. When you step inside this 1880s style 26 room Chateau, you'll step back in time.

Once you’re here, you can’t make a stop to ND Cowboy Hall Of Fame. The 15,000-square foot interpretive center features permanent and traveling western cultural exhibits, a Hall of Honorees, theater, gift shop, archives, 1,400 square feet of multi-purpose meeting space and a 5,000 square foot open-air patio.

 

4. Valley City

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Welcome to Valley City - the City of Bridges - in the heart of the Sheyenne River Valley. The scenic community has plenty to experience all year, including the Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway, bridges and parks, incredible outdoor recreation, unique shopping and dining.

If you're looking for a leisurely road trip, there are 27 interpretive sites along the Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway. Whether it is snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice fishing, skiing in the winter or fishing, hiking, birding, biking or canoeing in the summer, the possibilities abound on the Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway. Midwest Living magazine suggests this roadway as a "Fall Color Drive" and was listed in National Geographic's Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways.

Valley City was founded in 1872 with the name of Second Crossing of the Sheyenne when the Northern Pacific railroad crossed the river here.  When a town is built around a winding river, bridges become very necessary. So, Valley City is very proud of its beautiful and historic bridges, and they have developed a tour to show them all.

Not known for box stores or mall shopping, the Sheyenne Valley has an abundance of specialty shops that feature antiques, local artist wares, quilting supplies and unique dining.

 

5. James Town 

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The rich history of Jamestown begins with the roaming bison and develops into the seeds of statehood.

The Jamestown of today offers a wonderful outdoors experience with camping, fishing, challenging trails. The Jamestown area offers 21 stocked lakes within just a few miles of town. Whether you love fishing, water sports, or just hanging out on the beach, you'll find what you are looking for.

As for biking and hiking, Jamestown has over 35 miles of trails with variety to suit your needs; paved, unpaved, short, long, easy, challenging, nearby and scenic. Most of these beautiful trails still surprise the locals. From a challenging 8-mile trail that served as the location of the #1 rated XTERRA America Tour race in 2012, to a 1-mile easy paved trail along the lake, you'll find your new favorite trail nearby. Find trail conditions at Jamestown Parks and Recreation's website. They even have the Jamestown Talking Trail is a self-guided audio tour that allows you to hear the history of Jamestown. with 70 talking stops throughout the area.

Two other nice amusing things you don’t have to miss: Frontier Village, a re-created prairie town of 25 buildings and the World's Largest Buffalo Monument.

Being in a recognized cycling friendly city, you should bike the whole surroundings to see for yourself how to ride premium, so the last thing to think about is comfort. We can take this from your mind and recommend you the most comfortable saddle ever! Due to thick padding and dual spring suspension, the Oversize Bikeroo bicycle saddle is considered one of the most comfortable and upgrades the ride quality for any bike.

 

6. Theodore Roosevelt National Park  

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Outdoor adventure abounds in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which was one of the New York Times' "52 Places to Go in 2016.

Encompasing over 70,000 acres of breathtaking North Dakota Badlands, there's an adventure for everyone. Take a Journey Through the Badlands! Take and hour to two out of your time to drive the Scenic Drives in either the North and/or South Units of TRNP - a memorable journey. Always stop at Painted Canyon during the summer season for that last gorgeous view. And the kids will enjoy even more, because they might become a Junior Ranger in the parks’s team.

What more to do?

Cruise the 36-mile scenic loop in Theodore Roosevelt National Park's South Unit and hike great trails like the one along the amazing Wind Canyon, or the Petrified Forest. And… Of course! Hike or bike portions of the 150 mile Maah Daah Hey trail! Get off the beaten path and get dirty! Bring your mountain bike or rent one from Dakota Cyclery -then go rip on 150 miles of single-track on the Maah Daah Hey trail. A ride or hike on the Maah Daah Hey is an experience you won't forget!

 

7. Devil’s Lake

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The Lake Region is full of breathtaking views, uninhabited land, extraordinary wildlife, country charm, rich culture and history, and an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities.

Devils Lake is the largest natural body of water in North Dakota. Covering more than 200,000 acres it has hundreds of miles of shoreline. Here there are, 8 things mostly free, you can do here!

  1. Hike to the lookout tower at Sully’s Hill 
  2. Take in the history at Fort Totten historic site
  3. Cross country ski/snowshoe at Grahams Island or Sullys Hill
  4. Ride the bike trails
  5. Window shop or shop downtown
  6. Throw in a line along the great shores
  7. Take a bird-watching excursion to Lake Alice natural wildlife refuge
  8. Watch the sunset over Devils Lake

 

8. International Peace Garden

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Inspired by the vision of Henry J. Moore, the concept of an International Peace Garden at the heart of this continent was nurtured into life at the International Gardeners’ Association Annual meeting in 1929.

By 1932 vision had turned into plans that included location and first sketches of a garden that would tell the story of peace between two great countries. The International Peace Garden was established as a living symbol and tribute to the historic fact that Canada and the United States of America have been at peace with each other for (now) more than 200 years.

Here you can see one of our many beautiful water gardens located throughout the Park - Formal Garden West Channel. Relax to the sounds of cascading water or reflect in the still surface of one of the ponds.

Cyclists have been coming to the International Peace Garden for years. Other than summer weekends, when things can get busy at the garden, cyclists and runners have the roads to themselves – for the most part. Next time you are planning to camp at the International Peace Garden, bring the bikes. And bring the kids and their bikes too!

 

9. Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park

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Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park is a North Dakota state park located 7 miles (11 km) south of Mandan, North Dakota, United States.

The park is home to the On-A-Slant Indian Village and reconstructed military buildings including the Custer House. Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer and his wife, Libbie, lived on Fort Abraham Lincoln from 1873 until Custer died at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in the summer of 1876. Approximately 500 troops were also stationed there. Custer's first home at the fort was built in the summer of 1873, but it burned down in February 1874.

Today the house and seven other major fort buildings, including a barracks, the fort's makeshift theater, a stable building, and several blockhouses, have been rebuilt.

Fort Lincoln Park offers living history tours of the Custer House every half-hour. The tour is roughly thirty minutes long and takes you back to the year 1875 when Custer and his wife were living at Fort Abraham Lincoln. The guides are dressed either as laundresses or soldiers from 1875. Interpretive tours of On-A-Slant Village and the earth lodges, in which the guides give a basic introduction to Mandan culture, are also offered every half-hour and are also about thirty minutes long. Along with the tours, there is an historical museum comprising On-A-Slant Village, Fort Abraham Lincoln, and Fort Lincoln State Park culture and history. Visitors are welcome to walk through the cavalry barracks, the stables, and the blockhouses. A giftshop and coffeeshop have been built in the re-constructed commissary storehouse. During the summers, melodramas, including ones originally performed at Fort Lincoln in the 1870s, are performed by the guides in the re-built granary.

The park also has 95 campsites, two sleeping cabins, and picnic shelters. Horseback tours, hiking, and playgrounds are here available for a pleasant and relaxing day.

 

10. Dickinson

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The area offers so much more, no matter what your interests are, recreation, historical, arts, or other attractions, you will find that Southwest North Dakota will fill your vacation with memories.

What are the must-see and ride here? Little Missouri State Park, and over a million acres of US Forest Grasslands are home to the badlands, a rugged landscape of twisted hills, juniper trees and a variety of large and small wildlife. And the kids will love it!

While you are in Dickinson, check out the Badlands Dinosaur Museum which is open year round. There's eleven full-scale dinosaurs, a complete earth science exhibit, a spectacular rock and mineral collection, and lots of fossils.  And a rare complete Triceratops skull is on display. And, for sure, Enchanted Highway. Just before you get to Dickinson, you'll see the "Geese in Flight", the world's largest metal sculpture. It's 110 feet tall, and weighs over 75 tons! There are six more huge metal as you take the drive south for half an hour.

But, the town has also unique stores and unique dining in Downtown Dickinson.  Cup Burr'n has really different waffles and the fine dining at the BrickHouse Grille gives the upscale experience for residents and visitors. For more energy, enjoy a great cup of coffee at The Brew Coffee House, located near the city center.

Any thoughts are more than welcomed here! Places, trails, tips anything you might think a cyclist would love to read about. So, don’t be shy! Send us a message at happytohelp@bikeroo.net and tell us.