North Dakotans participate in a variety of winter sports. These include skating, sleighing, and tobogganing. Ski trails and tows are being opened at various locations in the state, and the larger cities hold winter sports carnivals. People are also attracted to annual summer pageants depicting historical events associated with North Dakota and to the numerous agricultural fairs in the state.
The state’s many wildlife refuges (more than any other state) offer bountiful opportunities to observe animals. Bison, antelope, and bighorn sheep can frequently be seen, as can the hundreds of different species of birds that make the state home.
The two units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park encompass 28,509 hectares (70,447 acres) of rugged Badlands. Inside the park, near Amidon, is an area where burning underground coal beds emit an intense heat through a fissure in the earth’s surface. Prehistoric plant and animal fossils, as well as several petrified forests, are found at this location. Buttes, domes, and cones that resisted erosion rise up on both sides of the Little Missouri River. Mineral deposits cause these rock towers to cast hues of lavender, green, yellow, and red.
The Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, near Stanton, contains the location of large Native American villages encountered during the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804 to 1806.
The Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site is a reconstruction of the fort that was the major trading center of the northern plains in the early 1800s. International Peace Garden, which lies partly in North Dakota and partly in Manitoba, Canada, features a formal garden, lakes, and picnic areas and honors the long friendship between the two nations. It is operated by a nonprofit corporation.
Two national grasslands, Sheyenne and Little Missouri, are strongholds for dozens of wildlife species. Sheyenne, located in the southeastern portion of the state, is well known as a stopping ground for migratory songbirds. Little Missouri grassland is located on North Dakota’s western border.
There are 17 national wildlife refuges and preserves dotted across the state. One of the country’s biggest game preserves is Sully’s Hill, where bison, elk, and deer can be seen in their natural environment. Most of North Dakota’s 16 state parks have picnicking and camping facilities. Several others offer fishing opportunities. The wooded Turtle River State Park attracts visitors with its many lakes ideal for swimming and boating. "North Dakota" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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