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Lake Metigoshe State Park

 Canoes on a rack in the woods at Lake Metigoshe State Park
licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Lake Metigoshe State Park

If you haven’t been to Lake Metigoshe State Park, this summer should be a good time to go. Lying around fourteen miles northeast of Bottineau, the park is tucked away on the eastern shore of Lake Metigoshe’s north lake. It is a great place to enjoy a little natural North Dakota.

Established with the help of the WPA back in the 1930’s, Lake Metigoshe State Park is one of our older state parks. It encompasses around 1500 acres amongst the Turtle Mountain aspen forest with an abundance of smaller lakes and wetlands. As such it contains a diverse flora and fauna.

There is a large beach/swimming area on Lake Metigoshe of course, with boat access and a dock. There is also a play area, picnic tables, and shelters nearby. And of course, you can simply find a good place to sit down and enjoy the outdoors.

Give some consideration to kayaking or canoeing in the park if you can. You can bring your own canoe or kayak or rent them from the park. Then go explore School Section Lake and perhaps Eramosh Lake which is a short portage away. Expect to see some ducks as well as pelicans, herons, cormorants, and more. Plus, the scenery is great!

If you are interested in getting out and doing some hiking, there are several miles of looping hiking trails to explore ranging from less than a mile to over eight miles. Bring a pair of binoculars, a bird book, and perhaps a plant guide. The trails traverse forested areas and skirt several wetlands, so one may observe some water birds as well as birds of the forest such as Cooper’s hawks, a variety of warblers, perhaps a pileated woodpecker, and there is a chance of seeing elk, moose, deer, beaver, and marten. Depending on the time of year, several wildflowers may be in bloom.

If you plan to camp for a night or two, as with other state parks, the park has both modern and primitive camping sites, as well as several lodges/cabins, and a yurt. Some of which are quite secluded.

There is much to see and do at Lake Metigoshe State Park. But do not just take my word for it. Make a point to get out and explore this little gem in North Dakota’s Turtle Mountain.

Further Reading

Chuck Lura has a broad knowledge of "Natural North Dakota"and loves sharing that knowledge with others. Since 2005, Chuck has written a weekly column, “Naturalist at Large,” for the Lake Metigoshe Mirror, and his “The Naturalist” columns appear in several other weekly North Dakota newspapers.
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