nd.gov - The Official Portal for North Dakota State Government
North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends
North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department

Lewis and Clark State Park

Hiking Symbol Biking Symbol Cross country skiing Symbol Snowshoeing Symbol Interpretive Symbol


On the north shore of Lake Sakakawea, Lewis and Clark State Park is situated among the rugged buttes of the North Dakota Badlands. The park is named for the Corps of Discovery explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark The expedition camped nearby on April 17, 1805.

Nature trailhead at LCSP

Prairie Nature Trail: This .41-mile self-guided trail includes a number of interpretive stations and is easily accessible from the trailhead near the park office and concession store. The nature trail crosses an old prairie track dating back from early settlement. Old muddy ruts from the wagon wheels can still be seen today. The interpretive trail meanders through native prairie and wooded ravines. Trail guides can be picked up at the office, campstore or entrance station.

North Trail System: This trail system is approximately 2.55 miles in length, extending from the trailhead near the park office and concession store, north along the boundary of the park. It returns parallel to Lake Sakakawea and ends at the modern campground access road. The trail rambles through a portion of the Prairie Nature Trail and continues north through native prairie intermixed with traces of woody draw communties. The trail provides a wonderful badland vista, and overlook of a beaver pond and a beautiful walking bridge. While taking a break on one of the many benches provided, listen closely for the catlike "meow" of the gray catbird's call or perhaps spot the distinctive deep blue head and underparts of a male Lazuli bunting. Hikers may catch sight of soaring turkey vultures.

LCSP Trails

South Trail System: This 2.8-mile multi-looped route combines Lewis and Clark interpretation with some wonderful native prairie images, views of majestic badlands and Lake Sakakawea. Open areas and native prairie hilltops provide good butterfly watching opportunties. Catch a glimpse of common banded or Pawnee skippers flitting amongst the blazing stars or perhaps take a photo of an Ottoe skipper sitting on a purple coneflower. Birding opportunties along the trail are also great. Watch for the black bib and horn-like feathers of the horned lark or the large white wing patches of the lark bunting. Take a time out on the bench under the ash tree and listen to the soft trickling of the stream and perhaps hear the familiar musical song of the yellow warbler, "sweet, sweet, sweet, I'm so very sweet."

Shoreline Trail: This 3.03 mile multi-use trail is the longest trail in the park, running along the shore of Lake Sakakawea. Access to the trailhead is near the group campground. The trail meanders through the eastern edge of the park providing excellent views of the lake. Often different birds of prey such as Prairie Falcon and Swainson Hawks can be seen soaring overhead while hiking this trail.

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk