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Oldest son and I hiked into the east side of the Sheyenne Grasslands on the NCT. We had parked at the Ekre trailhead, deciding to hike past the Ekre campsite. We set up our tent as soon as we got into the boundaries as a thunder and lightening storm began. The next morning we hiked the 3 miles into Jorgens Hallow, the actual campground on the Grassland. There we refilled our water, used the vault toilets and continued on our way on the NCT across the grasslands.
This campground has the North Country Trail go right through it, and that is how we ended up camping there. Kids enjoyed the ice cream and refreshments for sale at the gift shop. We were able to get down to the river from our primitive site and cool off. While the bank its self was quite steep and muddy the water felt amazing. Firewood for sale at the gift shop and they drop it off to your site.
The tall grass prairie here is absolutely beautiful, and a rare place to be able to enjoy. There are two established campgrounds here, but dispersed camping is allowed anywhere on the property (with restrictions). It’s a very different kind of camping than I was used to in forests back east. It’s wide open here and cattle roam the land. It’s a great place to experience all the Great Plains has to offer for the outdoor lover.
Stayed at a site in the open field near to the road. (last site available) only down side was that you got to feel the ND winds (10-30mph+) all the time….. Next time will stay on the other side of the river at their "primitive" campsites. those sites are all in the trees and secluded. Also has walk-in tent sites. Plenty of local hiking trails right from the campsite.
This is a year round multi-use state park along the forest-lined Sheyenne River and near the Sheyenne National Grasslands. There are miles of trails through all kinds of habititats from forest to prairie to riparian shores and the water trail. In winter there is great cross country skiing and snowshoeing and summer of course has camping, canoeing, hiking, and nature watching. This seems to be a big park for horse campers and they are well set up for that with corrals and designated horse campgrounds. There is a standard campground for car camping, campers and RVs with the usual amenities, then there is the so-called "primitive" campground which is for tents only, either in drive in tent campsites, or at walk-in tent sites that are very spacious and right on the river! Very nice. The "primitive" tent area has quiet rules including no use of generators, so we like that. The tent area did not have its own water source though, so you do have to walk across the river bridge to the main campground to get water. Also, while there were no problems about flooding on our trip, the sites are in a lowland area adjacent to the river floodplain so could be a concern at times of heavy rain. Other options, should you want to go for historic lodging or "glamping", there is the option to reserve a covered wagon or pioneer cabin to stay in, or a fully equipped really amazingly cool yurt with a loft that could host a large family or group. If you like hiking or canoeing or horseback riding or nature exploring, there are alot of good options here for the summer camper. Things are quieter right now as there as fewer campers due to covid, they are also a little short staffed and the grounds look a tad bit rough around the edges and in need of a bit of maintanence. Also, the park was established on the grounds on an old fort which seems to have had some historic controversy, and the main park entrance sign was burned in a recent protest event so be aware of that when you are trying to find the park. And, while staying at the park, visit the exhibits in the visitor's center to learn more about the history of the area and the old fort so you can put all this into respectful context.
The main campground itself at Wylie Park is rather attractive with mature trees and reasonable site spacing (there's a secondary North Campground that's newer with less mature vegetation). Pricing is a little high at $36+/night for FHU, but the reason folks come here is for the park's other amenities including Storybook Land, Wylie Lake, go-carts, bumper boats, mini-golf, etc. This place is a kids' paradise.
Which leads to the situation on weekends: this place is positively overrun with kids. Kids crying, kids riding their bikes through your campsite (and ill-informed adults, too). The geese in the waterfowl pond adjacent to the campground made quite the racket, too, but that didn't bother us. The kids did. Fine if that's your thing, but to a couple of 50-somethings without kids anymore, this was annoying.
Midweek, though, the place was terrific, maybe 50% occupied. Staff was friendly and welcoming.
While we're staying in the Aberdeen area we took time out today to scope out the campground at Mina Lake State Recreation Area, and it is absolutely beautiful. Well-spaced sites, nice grassy lawns, and most sites back up right to the water. As the facilities list says, sites are electric only but there are water hydrants spaced throughout the campground. They were unfortunately booked when we tried to reserve, for that would've been a stellar stay.
Returned here just for a hike not to camp this time, we love it so much! Only saw 1 other group on the trail, did 5 miles out to Mirror pond, enjoyed lunch there and did the 5 miles back. Great activity for a sunny but chilly April Sunday!
We dispersed camped for 1 night while walking along the North Country trail. It is a quiet and safe, we parked at the trail head and intended to hike to mirror lake but didn't make it in that far and found a nice place to stop along the way.
There are cows around the prairie which leads to cattle gates along the trail, just a quick flip up of the gate and you are on your way! I recommend selecting an area where the cows are not currently in. Also, note since there area cows and these are equestrian trails keep your eyes open for any droppings along the trail :)
Overall, lovely and cost effective option for a hike and camp.