Grahams Island State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Located on the shores of Devil’s Lake in North Dakota, Grahams Island State Park is a wooded, watery getaway that is open to RV campers year round. The park has miles of hiking trails that lead you along the shaded shores of the lake, where you’ll find woods populated with dozens of bird species. The park also has multiple swimming areas, making it a great destination on hot North Dakota summer days. If you visit the park during the winter, you can use the hiking trails as a cross-country skiing course.

Grahams Island State Park is nationally known for its fishing, playing host to multiple competitions every year. You’ll find everything you need for a fishing trip, including a bait shop, four-lane boat ramp, and a fish cleaning station. The campground within the park has over 100 sites for tents and RVs, many of which have full hookups for your rig. There are also sites for rigs up to 165 feet, so you’ll have no issues finding a spot for your RV.

RV Rentals in Grahams Island State Park

Transportation in Grahams Island State Park

Driving

Located in North Dakota, Grahams Island State Park is within driving distance of cities such as Bismarck and Winnipeg. The park is located on an island, with only one road leading in and out. However, the roads are well maintained by the park, so you shouldn’t have issues with large campers or trailers.

If you are coming from Bismarck, take ND-14 and ND-19 from the city and you will get to the park in a little under three hours. From Winnipeg, take WB-3 west to reach the park in around four hours.

The park has a number of different camping areas, some of which feature tight turns. If you have a large rig, you may want to consult the park map and pick a campsite that is closer to the entrance, so that you have to negotiate fewer tight turns. The park’s road may also be covered in ice and snow during the winter. The park usually does a good job of managing the roads, but you should come prepared with snow chains if visiting in the winter.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Grahams Island State Park

Campsites in Grahams Island State Park

Reservations camping

Grahams Island Campground

The campground has 42 modern plus campsites, all of which have electrical, water, and sewer hookups. The campground also has 66 modern campsites, which feature electrical and water hookups. Additionally, there are nine primitive campsites. The campsites all have picnic tables and grills, if you plan on cooking near your rig.

The campsites are spread out among three areas, all of which are within walking distance of the park’s main attractions. You’ll be able to easily reach the swimming areas, fishing docks, and boat launches, as well as the hiking trails and the park office.

The campgrounds can be booked up to 95 days before your stay, and must be reserved at least a day before your arrival. As a lakeside retreat, Grahams Island State Park gets quite popular during the summer months. If you are planning a trip during peak season, consider reserving as soon as possible, as it can be hard to find a spot in the campground.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Grahams Island State Park

In-Season

Fishing

Fishing is the park’s biggest draw, and for good reason. You’ll find some of the best angling in the region, with waters teeming with white bass, walleye, northern pike, and perch. The park plays host to a number of national fishing competitions every year as well.

Grahams Island State Park has excellent infrastructure for fishing, with a four-lane boat ramp, a bait shop, and a fish cleaning station. You’ll have everything you need to make your fishing trip a successful one.

Do check the park’s schedule if you plan on fishing, as the lake may be closed to the public due to a fishing competition. The fishing is excellent year round, although you may need to use slower baits during the winter months.

Boating

Grahams Island State Park is also popular with RV campers looking for great boating. Circumnavigate the island by canoe or kayak and enjoy the shaded waters along the shore. There is a four-lane boat launch that makes it easy to get larger boats from your trailer to the water. The park allows boats with electric motors, as well as kayaks and canoes. There are no rentals, so make sure you bring your boat with your rig.

Swimming

Grahams Island State Park is a great summertime getaway, with multiple swimming areas where you can cool off during the dog days of summer. The swimming areas are near the campgrounds, so you can get from your rig to the water in a matter of minutes.

There are fishing docks near the swimming areas as well, if you want to cast a line. There is also a playground and a concession stand a short walk from the swimming areas.

Off-Season

Hiking

Grahams Island State Park has a network of hiking trails that loop around the lake. The Sivert Thompson Loop takes you through the ash and oak forests on Grahams Island, where you’ll be able to see 130 species of plants that are native to the island.

You can also take the trails to multiple viewing areas that overlook the park, giving you incredible views of the water and the park’s wildlife.

Hiking at Grahams Island State Park tends to be most popular in the fall, when temperatures are cooler and the leaves begin to turn. You’ll find dozens of bird species in the park as well, making autumn a wonderful time to visit.

Cross-Country Skiing

Visitors to the park in the winter will also find plenty to do. The hiking trails turn into a cross-country skiing course when snow begins to fall. The frozen shorelines and snow-covered trees make for scenic treks through the woods. You’ll also find a wide variety of wildlife in the forests, from red foxes and deer to the occasional moose.

The trails are groomed, so you should have no issues plodding through thick snow. Do note that the park does not offer rentals of any kind. Make sure you bring everything you need along with your campervan.

Ice Fishing

Wintertime visitors can also head out onto the frozen lake and try their hand at ice fishing. The fish stay active beneath the frozen outer crust of the lake. Just make sure that you take your time and use a slow bait, as the fish tend to be a bit shier as the temperature drops.

Always take extra caution when heading out onto the ice. The park does not guarantee your safety, so any ice fishing that you do is at your own risk. Ice conditions also change quickly, so make sure you get the latest conditions before heading out onto the lake.

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