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North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department

Lake Sakakawea State Park


The 1,293-acre park contains a variety of both natural and planted vegetation types. The natural vegetation types include a mixture of forest and woodland types that are associated with the lake and valley slopes. Mixed grass prairie is the primary component of the uplands above the lake. There are also shrublands intermixed within the prairie areas. A complex system of shelterbelts and windbreaks exists throughout the park.


The gently rolling prairie, wooded draws and shelterbelts contribute food and a secure habitat for a diverse wildlife community. Visitors may see white-tailed deer, ring-necked pheasants, raccoons, jackrabbits, or perhaps a coyote or fox.

Forty-five of the over 135 birds that may be observed in the park are on the Natural Heritage Inventory's state rare species list. Some of the rare species include the piping plover, least tern, eastern bluebird, osprey, whooping crane, golden eagle, markbled godwit, loggerhead shrike, Sprague's pipit, Baird's sparrow, white-throated sparrow, northern mockingbird, LeConte's sparrow and chestnut-collared longspur.

Eastern Kingbird

The park is the western-most trailhead for the North Country National Scenic Trail, which, when completed, will stretch from upstate New York to Lake Sakakawea State Park. The trail provides an excellent vantage point for viewing the park's plants, animals and geological features.