Best Spots for Day Hiking in North Dakota

Get out on the trails for some exercise, beautiful scenery and wildlife viewing

North Dakota’s great outdoors await. Thousands of miles of hiking trails crisscross the state, including the Maah Daah Hey Trail in North Dakota’s Badlands and North Country Trail, stretching from eastern to central North Dakota. From state parks to local walking paths, there are uncrowded and scenic places to soak up the sun.  

While planning your next getaway check out these top spots for day hiking in North Dakota or click here for more information on 13 of the top hiking and biking trails in North Dakota.

Parks and Historic Sites 

Hiking in Cross Ranch

Cross Ranch State Park 12 miles southeast of Hensler. Phone 701-794-3731

Lake Metigoshe State Park 16 miles northeast of Bottineau. Phone 701-263-4651

Icelandic State Park

Icelandic State Park 5 miles west of Cavalier on ND Highway 5. Phone 701-265-4561

Turtle River State Park 22 miles west of Grand Forks on US Highway 2. Phone 701-594-4445

Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park 7 miles south of Mandan on ND Highway 1806. Phone 701-667-6340

Lake Sakakawea

Lake Sakakawea State Park 1 mile north of Pick City. Phone 701-487-3315

Fort Ransom

Fort Ransom State Park 30 miles south of Valley City. Phone 701-973-4331

Little Missouri State Park 19 miles north of Killdeer. Phone 701-764-5256

Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site 1/2 mile north of Stanton. Phone 701-745-3309

Fort Union Trading Post

Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site 24 miles southwest of Williston. Phone 701-572-9083

TRNP Hiking

Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Unit near Watford City and South Unit at Medora

Wildlife Refuges

Wildlife refuge in Devils Lake

All 63 national wildlife refuges have opportunities for wildlife observation on interpretive foot trails. For more information, please call U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 701-250-4418.

Trails

North Country National Scenic Trail

The North Country Trail follows the shores of Lake Sakakawea and Lake Audubon and continues along the Garrison Diversion Project canals. Reaching the Sheyenne River, the trail route loops northward to Fort Totten State Historic Site near Devils Lake. Returning to the Sheyenne River, the trail follows its scenic forested valley southward to Fort Ransom State Park and Sheyenne State Forest. The trail is open to hiking, horseback riding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. 

Maah Daah Hey Trail

This 144-mile non-motorized trail is open for biking, hiking and horseback riding. The trail runs from the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park near Watford City through the Little Missouri National Grasslands and Medora to its southern terminus near Amidon. Biking within the two units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park is prohibited. Bikers must use alternative routes around park boundaries. The U.S. Forest Service, (701-225-5151) jointly manages the Trail with the National Park Service (701-623-4466) and the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department, (701-328-5357).

Sheyenne National Grassland

It is the only National Grassland in the tallgrass prairie region of the United States and provides habitat for greater prairie chickens in North Dakota as well as several other sensitive species. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, hunting, camping, horseback riding, photography, and backpacking. ND Highway 27 east of Lisbon. Phone 701-683-4342.

Summer Only

Little Missouri National Grasslands

Little Missouri National Grassland US Highway 85 north and south of Belfield. Phone 701-225-5151

Turtle Mountain State Forest 5 miles west of Lake Metigoshe. Phone 701-228-5422