Lake Metigoshe State Park ND
Camp North Dakota: I’m talking with Larry today from Lake Metigoshe State Park. How are you doing this morning?
Larry: I’m doing great. A little cold, but I’m doing great.
Camp North Dakota: Well, that’s good. We’ll kind of get into it here. So, when was Lake Metigoshie State Park founded?
Larry: It started way back in the WPA era. For the very origin of the Park, the first facilities were completed in or about 1938, so that’s what we consider our origin at the beginning of the Park.
Camp North Dakota: Perfect. And so, when people are at the Park, what are usually the most popular activities that they like to do?
Larry: The Park is located on Lake Metigoshe and the lake itself is a very highly recreational lake. A lot of jet skis. A lot of skiing activity. But with that, we also have – through the years we’ve developed quite a bit of a trail system through the Park, so we get a lot of hikers. We’re starting to see more mountain bikers. We’ve got about, oh, roughly 18 miles of total trail within the State Park that allow for the nature hikes, the mountain bikes, and a lot of those, again, convert over to winter recreational activities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking when the snow isn’t too deep, and biking as much as they can bike. So, we get really a year round usage here throughout all seasons of the Park.
Camp North Dakota: Awesome. And is there also snowmobiling allowed, or is that not allowed on the trails?
Larry: Yes, the Park itself is located right on the State Snowmobile Trail. It cuts right through the Park. There’s only three and a half miles of snowmobile trail in the Park, but that connects to almost 300 miles of trails within the Turtle Mountains that provide access from the very west end to the very easy end and all point in between.
Camp North Dakota: Awesome, so certainly a good point to jump off and be able to go on a long snowmobile ride. Cool.
Larry: Absolutely. The Park here – we have cabins that a lot of the snowmobilers and the summer users as well, but we have cabins here that the people use, so it works as a great jumping off place for that.
Camp North Dakota: Awesome. And so, yeah, where is Lake Metigoshe State Park located?
Larry: We are located right on the International border. If you were to look at the very west end of North Dakota and the very easy end of North Dakota, we’re just about right in the middle, right on the International border. Actually, our whole north boundary of the Park is the International border.
Camp North Dakota: Okay, perfect. And if you were to venture out of the Park for the day, what are some of the other attractions kind of in the area?
Larry: In the area we’ve got the newest local attraction; is Mystical Horizons, which is kind of a modern-day Stonehenge type of area where it’s on the very west end of the hills. You have a great view of the west end of the hills, out onto the prairie. You see great sunsets there and there’s a sighting tube there that is dead on for the North Star. There’s also kind of a wall there with slits in it, where you get to see the equinox, the summer solstice, the winter solstice, where the sun lines up perfectly right in the slots as it’s setting. It’s one of the areas. We’ve got, I believe, three National Wildlife Refuges in the area for the bird watchers. There is a birding trail that covers both the Turtle Mountains and the north side, across the International border into Canada. It’s kind of a birding trail that has now been developed and is going to be really a great item, especially for the bird watchers that come to the area.
The roads themselves a lot of people bike through the area as well. We’re right on the edge of the oil patch, so those that want to see the oil activity, we’re not very far from it. In there’s a museum. We have the International Peace Gardens just 17 miles east of the State Park. So, there’s quite a bit of stuff to do in the area.
Camp North Dakota: Yeah, absolutely. Certainly something for everyone to participate in. That’s great.
Camp North Dakota: And so, I guess coming back to the Park, what are the campsites like within the Park?
Larry: We have 90 sites in the State Park that are considered what we call modern, which have electricity and water. Half of them are pull-through sites and half of them are back-in sites. And then in between those loops we’ve got a playground in there for the kids for the family to hang out at. The rest of the Park has what we call our primitive sites, where there are no hook-ups, but there is a fire ring. There is a picnic table there. And some of the areas are designated strictly for tenting. Other areas could be a tent or a camper, just there would be no hook-ups.
Camp North Dakota: Perfect. No, that’s great. And one more question for you. If you could spend just one night in Lake Metigoshie State Park, which campsite would you choose and why?
Larry: Oh, to be honest with you I’d probably, as far as campsite – I can give you the number here. Site 38 to me is one of the better sites. One, it’s big. If you’ve got a big rig, you can fit in there. It’s near the amphitheater, where you can go to the programs that are on during the weekends. It also isn’t far from a jumping off point that gets you back onto the hiking trail system that we have. We have the Old Oak Trail, which is a nationally recognized trail for interpretation. So, it’s just one of those areas that it’s kind of in the heart of the Park where you can get off and do just about everything with not too far away from it.
Camp North Dakota: Absolutely. Well, thanks so much. That’s some great insight. We’ve enjoyed speaking with you today.
Larry: Okay, well, thank you.