The North Dakota State Parks Include A Fort That Was Home To The Famous 7th Cavalry
There are currently fourteen state parks in North Dakota as well as seven other public areas, all of which are controlled by the North Dakota Department of Parks and Recreation.
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The state is located in the center of the American continent where it shares a border with Canada to its north.
Geographically North Dakota lies in an area known as The Great Plains.
The western part of the state consists of these hilly plains as well as the northern tip of The Badlands.
The Little Missouri River In North Dakota
The eastern part of North Dakota holds the valley of the Red River and the area is mainly flat, agricultural land. The largest natural lake in the state lies here, this is Devils Lake and Devils Lake State Park is found on its shores.
Turtle River State Park is another one of the North Dakota State Parks found in this eastern part of the state.
One of the more notable of the state parks in North Dakota is the Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. This was once the home of the famous 7th Cavalry and an early post commander, until his death in 1876, was Colonel George Custer.
A Reproduction Of The Custer House At Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
The Missouri River flows from the north eastern part of North Dakota before it flows southward. Some of the largest geographical features in the whole region are the the massive man made lakes created by two huge dams across this mighty river.
The enormous Garrison Dam, which is two miles long, creates Lake Sakakawea which is the third largest man made lake in America. Lewis and Clark State Park and Lake Sakakawea State Park are located on this huge body of water.
The Oahe Dam is the second barrier and it forms a lake that runs 230 miles back upriver toward the city of Bismarck, the North Dakota state capital.
Reconstructed Native American Lodges At "On-A-Slant" Village In Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
For thousands of years the area that is now North Dakota was inhabited by Native American tribes. Great numbers still reside there today and their culture is very much in evidence. One of the biggest Pow-Wows in the United States takes place every year in Bismarck.
The first European to enter the region was a French Canadian trader called Verendrye and he arrived in 1738. Today North Dakota has a population of around 700,000 people many of whom can trace their ancestry back to northern Europe.
The Red River, It Forms The Border Between North Dakota And Minnesota
This is because a large number of Norwegian immigrants arrived toward the end of the 19th century, they settled close to the Red River in the north east corner of the state.
They were soon followed by a number of Swedes and Germans. Finally a large contingent of Icelanders arrived from Canada. This Nordic influence in the region led to one of the North Dakota State Parks receiving the name of Icelandic State Park.
The largest Scandinavian festival in the United States takes place every September and to this day the cuisine of North Dakota includes some unique European dishes.
The North Dakota State Parks play an important part in highlighting the history of this great state and figures show that they are among the most popular of the North Dakota tourist attractions.
Here is a map of North Dakota showing the rivers and lakes -