If you’ve ever wondered what North Dakota may have been like at the time of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition, look no further than this 590-acre park, just an hour’s drive north of Bismark. Cross Ranch State Park is a natural area featuring rolling prairies, cottonwood glens, and marshy river bottoms, situated along some of the last free-flowing, undeveloped shoreline of the Missouri River. Visitors to Cross Ranch have plenty of opportunities to lounge under shady trees and picnic along the river, wander some of the many paths and nature trails, both in the park and the adjacent Cross Ranch Nature Preserve, or take to the river for swimming, fishing, and paddling. Cross Ranch State Park offers 65 tent and RV sites in two camp areas. RV sites are either back-in or pull-through, provide electrical hookups, and can accommodate large vehicles/trailers; tent sites are either drive-in or walk-in. The park also offers several group sites, yurts and fully-equipped cabins, as well as a Cheyenne-style tipi. Campground facilities include flush and vault toilets, showers, picnic shelters, playgrounds, and an amphitheater. A dump station is located in the upper camp area, and a boat launch in the lower camp area. Wifi service is available. Dogs are welcome in the park, but must remain leashed. Campsite rates are $17–$25/night; tipi, yurts and cabins are $35–$125/night. Visitors to Cross Ranch are invited to explore the area by land and water. More than 16 miles of hiking and biking trails, both in the park and the adjacent preserve, are available for exploring the area’s woods, prairies, and riverbanks, as well as observing the local birds and wildlife. You can pick up a trail map at the park’s visitor center and head out on self-guided nature walks ranging from 2 to 5.5 miles. Some trails are also open for winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. For a different perspective, go for a float on the Missouri River. Rent a canoe or kayak (or bring your own) and paddle around the park area, or take a shuttle (fee required) to the town of Washburn, then float 9 miles down the river, back to the park.