Nestled in the Sheyenne River Valley, about 65 miles southeast of Jamestown, Fort Ransom State Park is a 950-acre recreation area amid rolling grasslands and mixed woods. Once the site of an 1860s military encampment, the location now offers year-round outdoor recreation, from hiking, fishing, and paddling, to bird watching, horseback riding and camping. In summer, the park rents canoes and provides shuttles to the launch point, for spending leisurely days paddling down the river. In winter, its a popular destination for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. The park’s most noted event is the annual Sodbuster Days, which celebrates the farming and homesteading days of the late 1800s with arts, music, food and a rodeo.
The campground at Fort Ransom State Park offers 80 RV, tent and equestrian campsites near the banks of the Sheyenne River. Modern RV sites, with electric and water hookups, are mostly pull-through, while primitive tent sites are mostly walk-in. A few group sites, both modern and primitive, are located near the outdoor amphitheater. The main camp area features flush toilets, showers, a playground, and a dump station. A canoe launch and fishing pier are located nearby. The primitive tent sites and equestrian camp area only offers vault toilets; the latter also has horse corrals. Other amenities include a visitor center, picnic shelters, and a dog park. Campsites are $17–$25/night.
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.
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.
This is a pretty good spot. When we were there in June the campground was having a Halloween celebration and my daughter loved it. There’s good trails to walk and it’s generally quiet. Sites aren’t very private, but the people were nice. It seemed to be more of a “locals” campground.
Wifi is at the visitors center, there’s almost 20 miles of trails to walk on and the scenery at night is beautiful! Sodbuster Days, Halloween in June and Christmas in July is a must. Also the historical building in the area is a cool thing to see!
Very green park with alot of history, including a preserved farm about early white settlers. We met some people who were staying here with their horses - how fun! Wide open green spaces, lovely. We didn’t explore much of the park unfortunately. We really wished we had rented a canoe or kayak (from the park) but it was a holiday weekend so they were all gone by the time we sauntered out of the tent near noon.
Yay: basic cafe, easy canoeing, nature center, educational, easy hikes.
Nay: campsites are not private or shady, only a few are next to the water.
Surprise: the camp staff were especially great with lots of stories to entertain the preschooler and grandma!