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3 Ways to Experience North Dakota State Parks

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

There are so many ways to enjoy North Dakota State Parks in every season. We usually think of getting outdoors during the summer, but some endorphin boosting exercise, quality time in nature and a little vitamin D-inducing sunshine can do us a lot of good during the long dark days of winter as well.

Many North Dakota State Parks include winter recreation and outdoor opportunities. You can also rent gear at the park if you don’t have access to your own. (Just make sure you wear your winter layers so you’re safe and comfortable.)

There are contests to enter if you want to win prizes or challenge yourself. And if you’re laid up with an injury or if you want to wait for the temperature to warm up just a little, there are activities you can do at home too. Let me know how you’ve been exploring North Dakota State Parks this winter — and all year long.

The 12 Months 12 Hikes Challenge is a great way to explore North Dakota State Parks

12 Months 12 Hikes Challenge

Explore up to 20 qualifying trails at 11 different North Dakota State Parks when you take part in

12 Months 12 Hikes Challenge. Participants that complete 12 hikes will receive a collectors challenge medal and a shot at prizes.

The qualifying trails and dates are listed on this checklist, which makes it easy to coordinate your trips. You can mix and match however you like. Just be sure to check in using the QR code when you arrive and to post your pics using the #12Months12Hikes hashtag.

Featured hikes in the North Dakota State Parks’ 12 Months 12 Hikes Challenge

It’s important to note that the January hike must completed by January 15th to count. So start making plans now.

You can purchase a daily or annual pass. (If you’re planning this challenge, an annual pass will save you money.)

There are discounts for seniors and passes are free for POWS and disabled veterans. Please see the site for more details.

There are also free passes available if you know where to look. You can check them out from the Fargo Public Library and the West Fargo Public Library. If your library or community organization also offers free North Dakota State Parks passes, please let us all know in the comments below. I’ll update this post as more locations are confirmed.

North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department Campfire Series

If you want to learn about North Dakota nature and culture from the comfort of your own home, check out the Campfire Series on YouTube. Study plants, dive into Native American culture, or experience a few trails.

It’s a novel way to plan your next trip, supplement virtual or homeschool programming or just learn something new. And since anyone access the videos, it’s a fun way to share your trip or your State Park with people who might not be able to physically get out on the trails or travel to North Dakota.

North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department’s Adventure Challenge

North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department 2021 Adventure Challenge

If you prefer to experience a mixture of tours, historic places, trails and selfie spots, this is the challenge for you. Follow the ND Parks & Rec 2021 Adventure Challenge Facebook page and complete as many challenges as you can all year long. (And document each challenge with a selfie, of course.)

The challenges include simple stuff like snapping a photo of the sunset, to very specific quests to particular spots inside North Dakota State Parks. Since these challenges are fairly simple and don’t require a lot of physical activity, they’re appropriate for all ages and physical abilities.

What about you? What are your favorite North Dakota State Parks? Which of these challenges are you most interested in and why?

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