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Fort Ransom State Park is set in the Sheyenne River Valley and offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy the North Dakota sunshine. From fishing and canoeing along the Sheyenne River to hiking scenic trails, birdwatching, horseback riding, and camping under the stars, Fort Ransom is a fantastic place to reconnect with nature. The park is named after the 1860s military fort that once occupied its footprint. Today, the land has been transformed into a public recreation area for everyone to enjoy. History buffs will love discovering the park's farmstead heritage.
Planning a getaway to North Dakota? Book an RV in Ransom County and you can enjoy a riverside getaway to Fort Ransom State Park. With a home on wheels, you'll also enjoy the freedom to visit other North Dakota gems like Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.
The Sheyenne River meanders through Fort Ransom State Park and is a fantastic place to enjoy a scenic paddle. Bring your own watercraft or rent canoes and kayaks from the park office. Anglers can cast a line for smallmouth bass, walleye, and catfish. As a designated equestrian park, Fort Ransom is deservedly popular with horseback riders. It features over 65 corrals, as well as horse-friendly trails and campsites.
More than 20 miles of trails wind through the park and showcase the diverse ecosystem and wildlife. The Little Twig Nature Trail is a favorite with families and features wooden boardwalks and information on local flora and fauna. For a longer, hike try the two-mile section of the North Country National Scenic Trail. Along the way, you'll enjoy beautiful views of the river, oak woodlands, and grassy prairies. Watch for local wildlife such as red-tailed hawks, white-tailed deer, and black-billed cuckoos. Things don't slow down in the winter, when Fort Ransom State Park transforms into a snow-dusted playground. The park office rents out cross-country skis if you want to hit the trails.
Within the park, historic Bjone House and Sunne Farm offer a glimpse of North Dakota's agricultural roots. Every summer, the park hosts the annual Sodbuster Days celebration, a family-friendly event with old-time music, live demonstrations, and food stands celebrating homesteading life. Pets are welcome to join you while RV camping at Fort Ransom State Park. There's an off-leash area at the southern tip of the park where your pup can burn off energy, as well as a dog-friendly beach and walking trail.
Fort Ransom State Park's campgrounds — East Side, West Side, Riverside, and Sunne Horse Campground — feature a picturesque setting along the Sheyenne River. The park's 69 campsites offer various amenities and accommodation options, with 24 equestrian sites equipped with 50-amp electric and water hookups and nine additional primitive equestrian sites. If you're not camping at Fort Ransom State Park with a horse, choose from one of 14 sites with electric and water hookups, or ten primitive sites.
You'll enjoy access to modern bathrooms with showers and toilets, as well as a dump station for RVs with services onboard. Most sites are pull-through, gravel, and can accommodate campervans up to 50 feet in length. Many sites are grassy and well-shaded.
If you're traveling as a covey, consider booking a group site that can accommodate multiple rigs. Need extra space or want a break from camping in a motorhome? Fort Ransom State Park offers a unique chance to stay in a historic homestead constructed in 1879. You'll also find full-service yurts for a rustic glamping experience, a cozy cabin, and the famous Percheron Wagon.
Camping at Fort Ransom State Park puts you in the heart of the postcard-perfect Sheyenne River Valley. As you explore the region, you can discover friendly small towns, historic farmsteads, and lashings of Americana charm. The 63-mile Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway is a great way to discover the rich history, culture, and geology of the region. A 20-minute drive north, Standing Rock Historic Site recalls the legacy of Native Americans in North Dakota.
Stop by the Rosebud Visitors Center in Valley City to pick up maps, learn about early pioneers, and check out an original 1881 Northern Pacific railcar. Pencil in time to peer into the mom-and-pop stores along Main Street, visit the Barnes County Museum, and admire the historic bridges. If you want to rent a camper near Fort Ransom State Park, consider larger cities such as Fargo or Grand Forks. When you're ready to hit the road again, head north of the park and refuel the rig at one of the many gas stations strung along I-94.