Dakota Prairie Grasslands

Little Missouri National Grassland - Photo by Phil Schermeister

Little Missouri National Grassland – Photo by Phil Schermeister

Today’s featured National Grassland, Dakota Prairie, is actually four grasslands in both North Dakota and South Dakota operated by one agency.  The four different units include three in North Dakota – Little Missouri National Grassland, Cedar River National Grassland, and Sheyenne National Grassland as well as Grand River National Grassland in South Dakota.

The bold type below is a link with more information.

Little Missouri National Grassland sourrounds Theodore Roosevelt National Park in far western North Dakota and is the largest of all the National Grasslands in the United States at over 1,000,000 acres.  The scenery is short grass prairie, buttes and badlands.  In addition to the National Park, Little Missouri also boasts the Maah Daah Hey Trail running north/south for almost 100 miles.  The trail is open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders.

Cedar River National Grassland is part of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal lands in southwestern North Dakota.  It is much smaller than Little Missouri and consists of mostly open short grass prairie and rolling hills and buttes.  There is little or no developed recreational areas, so traveling through there is an adventure, but a worthy one.

Grand River National Grassland is just to the southwest of Cedar River in neighboring South Dakota.   Though similar in scenery to Cedar River, it is much larger and has more to offer in the way of developed trails and campgrounds.  The district ranger offices for both Cedar River NG and Grand River NG are in the town of Lemmon, South Dakota.

Sheyenne National Grassland is on the far eastern side of North Dakota, nearly on the Minnesota border.  Because of its more easterly location, it receives more rainfall and therefore is more wooded in spots, and the open grasslands tend to be of the tallgrass or mixed grass variety.

If you live near or are traveling near one of these National Grasslands, take some time this week and go exploring to celebrate National Grasslands Week 2013!

About greatplainstrail

Building the Great Plains Trail.
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