Description - North Dakota lies on the central border between the United States and Canada. The Missouri River flows through the western regions of the state exiting into South Dakota.
Copyright: National Park Service
Theodore Roosevelt National Park
- This area contains the largest parcels of public lands in North Dakota: Cedar River National Grasslands and Little Missouri National Grasslands. Several national wildlife refuges protect important waterfowl habitat on more than 100,000 acres in western North Dakota. Navigable rivers in the region include the Missouri River and its tributaries, the Little Missouri, Cannonball and Knife Heart.
The north central region of North Dakota is characterized glacier-carved lakes and dense forests. The largest state forest in North Dakota, Turtle Mountain State Forest, encompasses nearly 8,000 acres of the region. Other preserved natural areas include the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge and J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge. Navigable Rivers in the region include the Souris River and the lower Des Lacs River.
North Dakota's eastern region is a flat, fertile valley formed by glaciers and their rich deposits. Small lakes and rivers pervade this region and provide irrigation for many farms in the valley. Sheyenne National Grassland encompasses 70,000 acres in the southern reaches of the region, protecting the habitat of waterfowl, pheasants, prairie chickens and white-tailed deer. Water sports are popular on several regions in the region including: Pembina, Park, Red, Goose and Sheyenne Rivers.
The landscape of south central North Dakota was formed through glacier activity millions of years ago. Shallow potholes and wetlands are the result of this activity. The wetlands are home to thousands of migrating birds throughout the year. Fort Ransom State Park is one of the largest in the region, lying in the Sheyenne River Valley. The North Country National Scenic Trail leads through this region providing access to hiking and backpacking opportunities. The James River in south central North Dakota is navigable.
Recreation - Canoeing is a popular pursuit on the many navigable rivers throughout the state. Bird watching, horseback riding and hiking facilities are available at most wildlife refuges in the state.
Climate - North Dakota lies in the northwestern continental interior of the US. Characteristically, summers are hot, winters very cold, and rainfall sparse to moderate, with periods of drought. The average annual temperature is 40°F, ranging from 7°F in January to 69°F in July.