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The spectacular Turtle Mountains straddle the U.S./Canada border in north-central North Dakota and southwestern Manitoba. The area is known for its dense forests and beautiful lakes, one of the biggest of which is Lake Metigoshe.
Located less than 15 miles northeast of Bottineau, the lake has been a drawcard for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts for many years. Today, it's best known as the site of Lake Metigoshe State Park, a 1,551-acre park that boasts an enviable position right on the shores of the lake.
Known for its excellent fishing, boating, hiking, and winter sports, Lake Metigoshe State Park is a popular destination all year round. Here's how you can make the most of your next visit to this gem of the North Dakota state parks system.
Regardless of whether you visit at the height of summer or in the depths of winter, Lake Metigoshe State Park has something to keep everyone happy.
During the warmer months, watersports take center stage. Many Lake Metigoshe State Park campers love nothing more than trying their luck at a spot of fishing, with species including bluegill, crappie, northern pike, perch, and walleye all caught here in abundance. There's a boat ramp for those who want to get out on the water, as well as four fishing docks for those who feel more comfortable on dry land.
Another favorite activity in Lake Metigoshe State Park is paddling. Canoe and kayak rentals are available to rent by the hour or for a whole day, so you can choose between a quick paddle or spend a whole day exploring at your own pace. And if the heat ever gets too much, there's also a swim beach where you can enjoy a cooling dip.
The other main activity during the warmer months is hiking. Many of the hiking trails in Lake Metigoshe State Park are also open to biking, so bring your mountain bike if you'd rather get around on two wheels. Otherwise, take your pick of the trails you'd like to navigate. The three-mile Old Oak Trail is a definite favorite — grab an interpretive brochure from the trailhead or the park office — while the Antelope Trail offers something a little shorter at just under a mile long.
But the fun doesn't end when the mercury drops and the snow starts to fall. During the winter months, Lake Metigoshe State Park becomes a haven for snow sports enthusiasts. Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding are all popular, with several multi-use trails available.
If you're on a snowmobile, check out the Peace Garden Trail. This trail leads you to the northeastern edge of the park and on to the International Peace Garden, so it's well worth a closer look.
If you'd like to stay a while in Lake Metigoshe State Park, book an RV in Bottineau County and then reserve a site in one of the park's campground areas. There are two modern campgrounds in Lake Metigoshe State Park — Washegum Campground and Maid O' Moonshine Campground — as well as three primitive camping areas. Together, they ensure that the park features:
Comfort stations and a dump station are within easy reach of all campers, with all sites located in close proximity to the best features the park has to offer. Restrooms are clean and modern, and some sites enjoy lovely water views.
Even better, if you're traveling with your pet, your furry friend is welcome in the campground provided they're kept on a leash. There's even a dog park when you want to give your pooch a chance to stretch their legs.
Finally, Lake Metigoshe State Park also boasts a selection of cabins, yurts, and dorms for park visitors who won't be staying in an RV rental.
When your Lake Metigoshe State Park RV camping vacation is coming to an end, you don't have to head home straight away. You'll find plenty more to see and do nearby, so it's worth taking your time to stop and check out some of the other local attractions.
For example, if you decide to cross the border into Canada, you could be exploring the impressive natural beauty of Turtle Mountain Provincial Park before you know it.
If you're a snow sports enthusiast, you'll probably want to steer your motorhome rental southwest towards the Bottineau Winter Park Ski Area. With six lifts and eight downhill trails, it's well worth a visit.
And if you're something of a history buff, you'll no doubt want to make the drive southwest to Minot to check out the Dakota Territory Air Museum.
There's no shortage of unique experiences on offer when you camp in Lake Metigoshe State Park, so book a rental RV and start planning the itinerary for your dream vacation.