Play Outdoors in North Dakota this Summer

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North Dakota summers are top-rate in so many ways: Days are long, temperatures are ideal and there is an abundance of things to do. It’s the perfect time of year to play outdoors, whether on water or land.

On Water

Lake Sakakawea is a water lover’s dream. The lake’s shoreline is dotted with idyllic inlets perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, waterskiing or riding personal watercraft. Find a secluded beach or sand bar and spend the day playing in the sand or walking the shore, keeping your eye out for fossilized rocks. Troll the day away on the big water in search of a whopper walleye and then enjoy North Dakota’s long summer twilight as the sun drops in the west.

Anglers gravitate toward world-renowned Devils Lake all year long, but July is a special time there. The sun rises early and sets late, allowing for maximum time on the water. North Dakota’s prairie lakes offer anglers a peaceful – yet productive – outdoor experience.  

The mighty Missouri River winds its way across the state with multiple spots where kayakers and canoers can drop in a boat and get acquainted with this famous body of water. Keep an eye out for bald eagles and beavers as you paddle and enjoy the sounds and views of towering cottonwood trees lining the riverbank. Pembina Gorge and Lake Metigoshe are other favorite paddling spots.

On Land

Hiking, biking or camping are great ways to get acquainted with North Dakota’s vast and serene countryside. The Maah Daah Hey Trail just outside Theodore Roosevelt National Park is internationally known as a top spot for epic single-track cycling and low traffic and tranquil country roads across North Dakota offer safe and panoramic road-biking opportunities.

Hikers delight in the views and solitude they can easily achieve while exploring Theodore Roosevelt National Park. There are 63 national wildlife refuges with interpretive foot trails in the state and North Dakota is home to 13 state parks. Spend a day walking the paths and sleep under the stars in a picturesque camp site within a park. North Dakota’s night skies are unrivaled, so prepare for some amazing stargazing. You may even catch a glimpse of the northern lights.

If spectator sports are what you are after, North Dakota delivers. Fargo’s RedHawks of the independent American Association and Bismarck’s Larks of the collegiate Northwoods League provide entertainment in America’s national pastime - baseball. Get tickets and head to the ballpark for a night of guaranteed fun. Rodeos are another American favorite and North Dakota hosts several throughout July.