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North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends
North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department

Dakota Explorers program


Did you know that you can become an official Dakota Explorer through the ND Parks & Recreation department? Just complete a Dakota Explorer activity booklet and turn it in. You’ll not only become an official Dakota Explorer, but you’ll also receive a prize that will help you further explore the state parks. Prizes may include backpacks, hats, water bottles, or flashlights. Ask an adult to help you download a booklet or you can find one any of the state parks.

Your friend,



P.S. Look for me in the state parks, I would love to get a picture with you!

Explorer Program

The Dakota Explorer booklets are geared toward specific age groups; Roscoe’s Rascals for ages 6 & under, Bandits for ages 7-12, and Rangers for 13 years and older. The Dakota Explorer (DE) program began in 1981 and has introduced thousands of kids to the natural, recreational and historical aspects that ND state parks offer.

Each weekend during the summer, many parks offer DE programming that you can participate in as well. These programs are hands-on and a lot of fun. You might make your very own field guide, learn how to use binoculars, play games to better understand animal behaviors, explore the park while doing a scavenger hunt, or even go on a guided hike or wildlife tracking expedition.

We look forward to your visit!


Dakota Explorer booklets

Below are the links for this summer’s Dakota Explorer booklets. You may print them out, and bring them with you to the state park you decide to visit, or you can get a copy from park staff when you arrive. Each park has a list of programs that will happen during the summer, so visit each park’s webpage to find out what Dakota Explorer activity is happening each weekend (updated late May, early June).

Explorer Program

The following parks have Dakota Explorer programs and prizes:

  • Beaver Lake
  • Cross Ranch
  • Fort Abraham Lincoln
  • Fort Ransom
  • Fort Stevenson
  • Grahams Island
  • Icelandic
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Lake Metigoshe
  • Lake Sakakawea
  • Turtle River