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Pavilion by the water at Lake Sakakawea State Park

Pavilion by the water at Lake Sakakawea State Park. Photo: Park Facebook Page

Discover Lake Sakakawea State Park, a scenic recreational area nestled along miles of shoreline surrounded by woodlands and mixed grass prairie. This serene area lies adjacent to the Garrison Dam near Pick City, North Dakota only 70 miles north of Bismarck.

Guests enjoy a variety of activities in and around Lake Sakakawea, the 3rd largest man-made reservoir in the country, such as swimming, boating, camping, fishing, bird watching, hiking, mountain biking, and picnicking. Plus the opportunity to hike a portion of the 4,600 mile North Country National Scenic Trail. This extensive trail begins in Vermont and ends inside Lake Sakakawea State Park.

Activities

Pack your overnight bags and come stay for a few days inside this peaceful North Dakota state park. While you’re here stop into the marina store and pick up a hot pizza and an ice cold beverage to enjoy in one of the scenic picnic areas. Next you can enjoy a game of horseshoes or volleyball or maybe explore one of the nature trails.

Here are some of the many fun activities that you can do during your visit to Lake Sakakawea State Park:

Boating at Lake Sakakawea State Park

Bring your boat (or rent one nearby) and spend the day out on the 3rd largest man-made reservoir in the U.S.! A marina and two boat ramps (one multi-lane and one single lane) allow for easy access into this impressive body of water. The Lake Sakakawea Marina has 74 slips for seasonal rental and 3 transient slips available for daily use.

The marina’s store, the Lakeshore store, is open seasonally from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Here guests may purchase hand-dipped ice cream, pizza, beverages, ice, fishing bait and tackle, apparel, souvenirs, camping supplies, and more.

Swimming at Lake Sakakawea State Park

Planning a summer visit to Lake Sakakawea State Park? Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit! This serene park lies along the shores of the 368,000-acre Lake Sakakawea, the 3rd largest man-made reservoir in the U.S.

This beautiful lake offers abundant opportunities for swimming, floating, windsurfing, kayaking, and more. A designated beach area lies within a protected cove along the miles of natural shoreline surrounding the lake.

Hiking at Lake Sakakawea State Park

Lake Sakakawea State Park features miles of multi-use trails for hiking and mountain biking. Much of these trails are groomed during the winter providing guests with additional opportunities to cross-country ski and snowshoe.

These trails wind through the woodlands and along both the lake and the mixed grass and wildflower prairie offering spectacular views of the surrounding area. The longest continuous hiking trail in the country, the 4,600 mile North Country National Scenic Trail, ends its journey inside the park.

Here are a couple of the trails at Lake Sakakawea State Park:

  • North Country Trail – This popular hiking trail begins in Vermont, crosses through 8 states and ends in Lake Sakakawea State Park. This last leg of its extensive (4,600 mile) journey flows through the mixed grass prairie, woodlands and near the lake.
  • Overlook Trail – This 0.36 mile trail begins near the Visitor Center and leads out to the lake and an overlook that also offers spectacular views of the mixed grass prairie and the Garrison Dam.

Biking at Lake Sakakawea State Park

Most of the park’s trails are also open for mountain bikes. These multi-use trails extend across the prairie and into the woodlands of elm and ash trees.

Here are a couple of popular trails that also allow mountain bikes inside Lake Sakakawea State Park:

  • Shoreline Trail – A 2.7 mile trail that winds along the lake’s shore and stretches across the entire park.
  • Whitetail Loop – This moderate 0.22 mile trail winds through the elm, juneberry, ash, and Buffaloberry trees and up a short elevation on its way to connect with the North Country Trail.

Fishing at Lake Sakakawea State Park

Enjoy a relaxing day fishing for walleye, northern pike, or Chinook salmon from your boat or along the shoreline of Lake Sakakawea. Just be sure to bring your angling gear and a North Dakota fishing license. You can purchase bait at the park’s full-service marina and then prepare your fresh catch at the park’s convenient fish cleaning station.

Birding at Lake Sakakawea State Park

While walking through the woodlands or along the prairie of Yucca, Blazing Star, Prickly Pear Cactus, and Leadplant you may have a chance to observe Wild Turkeys, Bald Eagles, American Bitterns, Black Terns, Franklin’s Gulls, Horned Grebes, Long-billed Curlews, Piping Plovers, Tundra Swans, Upland Sandpipers, White Pelicans, Canada Geese, Common Mergansers, Marbled Godwit, Red Knot, Yellow Warblers, Catbirds, and Brown Thrashers.

Nature and Wildlife at Lake Sakakawea State Park

Lake Sakakawea State Park’s shortgrass wildflower prairie and woodlands of elms and ash attract a variety of wildlife including White tailed deer, squirrels, raccoons, moose, bison, beavers, ferrets, and birds.

Pets

Pets are allowed inside Lake Sakakawea State Park as long as they are supervised and kept on a leash. Pets are not permitted inside any park buildings (including cabins) or the swimming area.

Camping

Spend a few peaceful nights nestled within the woodlands near the lake during your visit to Lake Sakakawea State Park. The park’s campground area features 149 modern campsites (with electric and water hookups), 42 primitive campsites, 10 group campsites, and 2 camping cabins.

The seasonal camping cabins have bunk beds, air conditioning, heat, and a small refrigerator. Each cabin can accommodate up to 5 guests. All campsites and cabins have a picnic table, fire ring, and nearby access to restrooms and showers. Additional picnic areas with shelters, a playground, and a dump station are also located nearby.

Park Location

Lake Sakakawea State Park
720 Park Ave
Pick City, ND 58545
Phone: 701.487.3315

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Lake Sakakawea State Park: