Visit North Dakota Forts for a True Western Experience
Step into life on America's last frontier at these authentic historic fort sites.
Every good western has a fort, and your western experience in North Dakota has plenty of them, too. From authentic buildings to faithful reconstructions, these North Dakota cavalry and infantry posts make it easy to envision life on America's last frontier.
Located at the eastern edge of Abercrombie, this site preserves the military post that served from 1857 until 1878 as the gateway to the Dakota frontier. A local museum at the site interprets the history of the fort and the area. Only one original building remains, but blockhouses and the palisade wall have been reconstructed.
Gen. George Armstrong Custer's last command. You know how he died, now see how he lived. A faithful reconstruction of the majority of the post awaits you in one of North Dakota's favorite state parks. Located south of Mandan on the banks of the Missouri River.
Fort Totten, southwest of Devils Lake, is the most complete cavalry-era fort west of the Mississippi River. Fort Totten's cavalry square is completely surrounded by original buildings. The fort held a high level of importance to the U.S. Cavalry, protecting mail routes and supplying men and material for Custer on his last mission. Visitors can stay overnight on site at the Totten Trail Inn Bed and Breakfast.
Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site southwest of Williston was at one time the premier fur trading post of the upper Missouri River region. Fort Union was a key trading post at the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers.
Fort Buford, near present-day Williston, was one of a number of military posts established to protect overland and river routes used by immigrants settling the West. While it served an essential role as the sentinel on the northern plains for 29 years, Fort Buford is probably best remembered as the place where famous Hunkpapa Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrendered in 1881.