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Travel the USA (Visit North Dakota)

North Dakota

It is the unique goal of travel adventurers to visit all fifty states in America. To boost this objective, each week we shall explore one state. Alphabetically, the 34th to visit is none other than North Dakota, abbreviated ND. Regardless of the order in which you explore them, the Peace Garden State is very special.

Visit state # 34 – ND

State MottoLiberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable
State FlowerThe wild prairie rose
State BirdThe western meadowlark
State GemNorth Dakota has no state rock, mineral, or gem
State CapitalBismarck
Famous FoodsKnoephla, Fleishchkuekle, Hotdish, Lefse, Hot beef sandwich, Goulash, Sauerkraut, Cheese buttons (Kase Knephla), Kuchen, Bison, Chislic, Gabubu Bread, Chokecherry wine, and more.

North Dakota is located above South Dakota and directly below the U.S. border with Canada. It is sandwiched between Montana to its west and Minnesota to its east. On March 2, 1861, President James Buchanan signed the bill creating the Dakota Territory. It originally included the area covered today by both Dakotas and Montana and Wyoming. The name was taken from that of the Dakota or Sioux Indian Tribe and from the Sioux word for “friend.” On November 2, 1889, both Dakotas were admitted to the Union, but because of its position in the alphabet, ND is the 39th state.

North Dakota is likely called “The Peace Garden State” because it partially houses the International Peace Garden that overlaps the border between the U.S. and its northern neighbor, Canada. Part of the garden can be found in ND, and part in the Canadian province of Manitoba. The International Peace Garden is nestled in the Turtle Mountains. It contains acres of uninterrupted prairie, forests, and floral gardens. There is much to do within the region, including canoeing and kayaking, hiking, and biking, Friendship Rock, the Carillon Bell Tower, and the oldest building called Historic Lodge.

North Dakota is known for its Badlands, home of dramatic landscapes of layered rock formations, steep canyons, and towering spires. There, wild animals, such as bison and prairie dogs, roam. It’s widely known that Roosevelt journeyed to the Dakota Territory in 1883, focused on hunting Bison as part of his appreciation of the environment and zeal for preservation of natural lands. The land we today call Theodore Roosevelt National Park is comprised of 70,446 acres and is one of the greatest natural attractions of North Dakota and the USA. The park features three main sections, the North Unit, the South Unit, and the Elkhorn Ranch Unit. There are scenic drives and a multitude of outdoor activities for naturalists and guests to the region, including camping, hiking, birding, wildlife viewing, historic sites, ranger-led programs, star gazing, and more. 

The state is noted for its pretty cities, and among them is the top-rated Medora, gateway to the South Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It is not only historic, but the cowboy themed city overflows with beautiful scenery and fun activities like horseback riding. Also worthy of a visit is Valley City, nestled on the banks of the Sheyenne River and home to 11 historic bridges. It features the Highline Bridge, one of the highest single track rail bridges in the USA and a National Civil Engineering Landmark. Thus, the city has earned the nickname “City of Bridges.” The nearby Medicine Wheel Park is home of a native American burial ground. A visit there provides a real sense of history and deep respect. Valley city sits along the North Country National Scenic Trail and The Sheyenne River Valley National Byway and should not be missed.

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