2014 Coleman Explorer
2014 Coleman Explorer
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Fessenden is a small town in central North Dakota that was formed when the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad came through in the late 19th century. Even today, the town is clearly centered around the tracks, even though passenger service to the area ceased quite some time ago.
Fessenden sits amongst the vast prairies that dominate North Dakota and much of the central United States. There are a few small lakes nearby, but forests are few and far between on the windswept plains. When you book an RV in Fessenden, you'll find the town to be a bit rustic; the town has no real attractions to speak of, just a handful of restaurants, and it’s rather isolated from the rest of the region. However, if you love getting off the beaten path and exploring far from the traffic of the interstates, this might be a fantastic destination for you.
One of the first things you’ll learn when getting a camper rental in Fessenden is that the distances between things are a bit larger in North Dakota. The Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge is one of the closest chunks of preserved wilderness, and it’s just over an hour's drive from Fessenden. That being said, it’s worth the trip; it’s one of the best places to do some wildlife spotting with plenty of ducks, geese, bald eagles, grouse, songbirds, and deer. It’s also one of the more popular spots for hunting and fishing with residents of central North Dakota.
Also about an hour's drive away is Devils Lake, which is well known for its abundant perch and northern pike stocks. Don’t have your own boat? Not a problem, fishing and pontoon boat rentals are readily available. There are even a couple of nearby outfitters that can set you up and tell you where to find the fish.
Fessenden’s small size precludes it from having any dedicated RV parks, so when you rent an RV there, you’ll need to stay in one of the nearby towns. Off Main RV Park in the town of Harvey is probably the closest and offers water and electrical hookups. There’s not much else amenity-wise, but it’s right in the middle of town, so you’ll be within walking distance of laundromats, restaurants, and recreational facilities.
The town of Harvey has a small campground at its West Side Park too. There aren’t many amenities there, but some of their sites have electrical hookups, and you’ll have access to bathrooms and dump station when you stay there.
A bit farther away but still a great spot to consider, when you get an RV rental in Fessenden, is Eastbay Campground on the shores of Devils Lake. It’s just over an hour's drive from Fessenden, but you can’t beat the excellent walleye fishing there. Sites have water and electric hookups, and you’ll be near the town of Devils Lake if you need to pick up any essentials. A casino is also close by if you’re looking to do any gambling when you get a motorhome rental in Fessenden.
Looking for a lively Friday night? Fessenden might not be the place for you. This town has only a few restaurants and bars to speak of and no attractions of its own. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great place to base yourself for an RV adventure, though. Valley City, which isn’t too far away, has quite a few sights to keep you entertained, including the Barnes County Historical Society. Their biggest claim to fame is Bob, a 65-million-year-old triceratops, but there are also some great exhibits on everything from military history to steam engines.
Love a good glass of pinot? You might enjoy the winery in Carrington. You can take a tour of the grounds and see how their delicious wines are made in an area that most would assume is inhospitable for growing grapes. But even if you’re not that interested in the nuts and bolts of how the wine's made, you’re sure to love the tasting portion of the tour.
You could also head down to Bismarck, North Dakota’s capital and the cultural hub for the central part of the state. Some of the Peace Garden State’s best restaurants are located here, and if you’ve got any interest in the exploits of frontier explorers Lewis and Clark, this is probably the best place to learn about their journey. Fort Mandan, just north of the city on the Missouri River, was a famous overwintering spot on their expedition to the Pacific Ocean in the early 19th century.