5981 Walt Hjelle Pkwy.
Fort Ransom North Dakota 58033United States
Daily entrance fees of $5 per vehicle apply.
Midwest Living Recommends
With scenic overlooks in abundance, an elaborate trail network and an out-of-the-way location, Fort Ransom State Park is a gem just waiting for discovery.
North Dakota is home to 13 state parks. Yet, Fort Ransom -- one of just two in the state's southeast quadrant -- often flies under the radar. Located on the banks of the Sheyenne River 90 miles south of Fargo, Fort Ransom is a touch primitive, but campers (both tent and RV) flock here for a handful of special events (Sodbuster Days twice each summer in the park and the Sheyenne Valley Arts and Craft Association Fall Festival, held annually in the nearby town of Fort Ransom). Otherwise, the park's 950 acres are often quiet, leaving many of the nearly 15 miles of trails practically empty. Visitors should, at a minimum, explore the popular, 1-mile-long Little Twig Trail. Equine enthusiasts will appreciate the volume and variety of shared-use paths throughout the park (daily horse-user fee of $6 per horse). However, the same cannot be said for hikers using those trails, including the Little Twig. Canoe and kayak rentals ($16 per two-hour rental or $50 per day) offer visitors a fabulous opportunity to explore the Sheyenne River. However, river flooding impacts rental availability as well as access to the river and portions of the park. For those not interested in hiking, horses or boating, the Sunne Demonstration Farm provides a glimpse into North Dakota's homesteading heritage. A cluster of historic buildings and farm equipment are easily accessible and worth a look. The site of the original fort, named for Civil War Gen. T.E.G. Ransom, stands 3 miles south of the park.