Turtle River State Park is located along Highway 2 in the eastern region of North Dakota, close to its border with Minnesota. Just a twenty-minute drive to Interstate Highway 29, Turtle River State Park is an ideal stop off for anyone driving through the towns of Grand Forks or Fargo.
Established in 1934, Turtle River State Park was one of many new green spaces built in North Dakota thanks to President Franklin Roosevelt's ‘New Deal’ program. The Civilian Conservation Corps set to work during this time constructing bridges, roads, and footpaths that would later be enjoyed by the general public as a space for recreation.
In a state that is so dominated by open prairie land, the 784-acres of wooded valley found in Turtle River State Park are a welcomed sight. With plenty of opportunities for recreational activities in the great outdoors, consider an RV rental in Grand Forks County today for your next getaway!
Thanks to its diverse landscape, renting an RV at Turtle River State Park and getting out and about in nature is possible all year round. Hiking is one of the best ways to explore every last nook and cranny of the park. With over ten miles of trails that offer leisurely walks through the forested hills and along the shores of the Turtle River, hikers will be rewarded with large sections of the park all to themselves. Avid walkers renting an RV here can take advantage of the 7-mile trail that loops around the whole park and provides a great insight into North Dakota’s native flora and fauna.
Completely separate from these walking trails are ten single-track mountain biking trails that range in difficulty from easy to intermediate and wind through the dense forest. There are no facilities here to rent a bike, so make sure you bring your own if you wish to enjoy the tracks! Many of the tracks have little elevation and are perfect for novices. However, those looking for a bit more of challenge should tackle the Hollows Trail, a 1.7 mile-long track that begins at the Visitor Center, winds through hillsides and along the river corridor before ending at the Hillside Picnic Area.
When you choose to rent a motorhome at Turtle River State Park during the winter, you will find that the hiking and biking trails transform into a series of well-maintained cross-country skiing trails. With over seven miles of trails to choose from, as well as a warming chalet open every day, there is no better way to spend a cold winters day in North Dakota. Those with children should keep an eye out for the scheduled events that are organized by the park to introduce more children to skiing and snowshoeing!
Camping at Turtle River State Park
Despite being a relatively small state park, camping at Turtle River State Park could not be easier thanks to the 100-site campground. Although there are no full hookup facilities for your RV rental in the park, over 70 of the sites do offer access to power and water. The park provides a modern washroom with flushing toilets and shower facilities.
Reservations can be made up to three months in advances and come highly recommended during peak season. If you are not successful in managing to bag yourself a spot here, set up camp with your rental RV at The Grand Forms Municipal Campground, just a twenty-minute drive away from Turtle River State Park. As well as full hook-up facilities, the park offers modern washroom amenities, a stable WiFi connection, and a coin-operated laundry room.
Exploring the Area
Although Larimore is the closest town to Turtle River State Park and great for stocking up on supplies, it is worth heading into Grand Forks to visit some of the more cultural attractions.
The North Dakota Museum of Art is a must-visit whilst you are in town. Part of the University of North Dakota Campus, the museum houses three exhibition galleries that open their doors to the public for free. Recognized as the official art museum of the state as early as 1981, the museum aims to promote and celebrate the best of regional, national and international artists to the public. Check out the museum’s website for their weekly schedule of exhibitions, educational programs, and live events.
Just around the corner is the Grand Forks County Historical Society, a must-visit for any history buffs camping with an RV nearby. The society had a humble start in 1970 with just one small building housing a handful of artifacts. Nowadays, the successful society has grown to consist of over six museum buildings, including the area’s original log Post Office, the city’s oldest building and the Myra Museum which houses the museums 1000-strong artifacts collection. Tours of the grounds are available from May through to September. During the winter tours are by appointment only, so make sure to call ahead!
Round off your visit to Grand Forks, by taking the whole family to the Splashers of The Sea Water Park. Part of a hotel complex, this wild water park allows public entry for a small fee that includes the use of several waterslides, the nation’s favorite lazy river, a pool, hot tub, and kids water play area. As the largest indoor water park currently in North Dakota, there is enough to keep the whole family entertained on a rainy afternoon!