What hidden gem in the state would you encourage others to visit this summer?
STEP BACK IN TIME
There are many wonderful places to visit in our state. Whether you are looking for an exciting, busy trip or a peaceful, relaxing vacation, North Dakota has it all. However, many of these places are forgotten or unappreciated.
One of these places is the Frontier Village in Jamestown. This free destination is a way to step back in time and appreciate where we’ve been. Along either side of the winding road lie buildings from the pioneer era. Step inside a jail cell, sit on stagecoach or ring the schoolhouse bell. An old fort houses a gift shop filled with North Dakota-made goods and a restaurant where you can taste the buffalo burger. Don’t forget to snap a photo with the world’s largest buffalo, Dakota Thunder. From there, watch the live buffalo herd grazing amongst rolling hills.
Another neat spot at this historical landmark is the National Buffalo Museum. While you do have to pay a small entry fee, it is certainly worth it. With artifacts for the adults and a frontier-themed playroom for the kids, you definitely want to visit.
Northern Plains Electric Cooperative
LEARN LOCAL HISTORY
There are so many amazing “hidden gems” in North Dakota, from Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery to Camp Hancock in Bismarck. My family enjoys touring new places and learning more about the history of our great state.
It makes my homeschool mom heart happy when my kiddo especially enjoys a place! And, that was exactly what happened when we visited the Welk Homestead State Historic Site near Strasburg. The homestead is the birthplace of the legendary star Lawrence Welk, but it was so much more than that.
The tour of the original farmhouse and grounds demonstrates much about the life of these hard-working, German-Russian immigrants in the late 1800s. It describes what agriculture was like, the construction of the buildings and the life of Lawrence Welk. We even got to play an accordion!
The best part of our visit and the reason my daughter enjoyed it so much were the amazing interpreters. They were both local teachers and they were completely knowledgeable and fabulously entertaining. They made this history fun!
Mor-Gran-Sou Electric Cooperative
VISIT NATURAL WONDER
How about a visit to the “Grand Canyon” of North Dakota – the Pembina Gorge! Carved by the Pembina River and years of glacial action, the gorge lies near Walhalla. By mid-September, explorer traffic dips and the gorge peaks in colors of golden oak and red-to-brown arrays of your favorite fall hues.
The first stop is the Pembina County courthouse in Cavalier to see fall themes and bale art.
Bike the paved path west of Cavalier to Icelandic State Park. Walk the Hillman Nature Trail. Pop out by the Pioneer Heritage Center for insight to the hardy Icelandic pioneers, visit with friendly park rangers and see the incredible Hallistad Church and Gunlogson pioneer cabin. Then onto the gorge!
The Masonic Scenic Overlook on the south edge of Walhalla provides a vista 1,155 feet above sea level. Tetrault Woods State Forest is visible below in your panoramic vista of the Pembina River. Tetrault Woods has trails and floating bridges waiting for you to explore.
Trailheads for the Pembina Gorge are speckled west of Walhalla. Motorized off-road vehicles, mountain bikes and hikers meet and pass on the numerous trails meandering to the river below.
Cass County Electric Cooperative
FIND THE FOREST
The North Dakota hidden gem I would encourage others to visit is the Tetrault Woods State Forest at Walhalla. The forest, maintained by the forest service, offers a unique hiking and wildlife viewing experience into the forested Pembina River bottomland. After hiking the trail, continue on to the Tetrault Woods scenic overlook west of Walhalla to take in the spectacular panoramic view of the Pembina River from the bluff. I visited the area during peak fall colors last year and was amazed at the view.
Roughrider Electric Cooperative
UPCOMING READER REPLY QUESTION:
JUNE: Twenty years ago, we never heard of some technology we now use daily. What do you imagine will be part of our future 20 years from now?
Deadline for submission: May 12
JULY: If you could be granted your wish, what would you want added to your community?
Deadline for submission: June 12
We want to hear FROM you: Submissions should be no more than 250 words, typewritten or in legible handwriting. Include your name, complete address, daytime phone number and name of your electric cooperative. Note: Magazine staff reserves the right to make editing changes and cuts. We pay $25 for each letter we print. Email to email@example.com or mail to READER REPLY, North Dakota Living, P.O. Box 727, Mandan, ND 58554-0727.