Where is Lake Metigoshe State Park
Located in the Turtle Mountains, Lake Metigoshe State Park resides entirely within the state of North Dakota. The main feature of Lake Metigoshe State Park is the namesake Lake Metigoshe. However, the state park also contains the Turtle Mountain Outdoor Learning Center, a campground, hiking trails, and various areas designed for swimming and fishing. The closest city to Lake Metigoshe State Park is Bottineau, North Dakota. The state park is located 199 miles (a three hour and thirty-minute drive) southwest of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Park is also 191 miles (a three-hour drive) north of Bismarck. And Lake Metigoshe is 281 miles (a four hour and twenty-minute drive) northwest of Fargo, North Dakota. Lake Metigoshe State Park is also located near several other outdoor recreation areas. These areas include Homen State Forest, Turtle Mountain State Forest, and Willow Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
How Large is Lake Metigoshe State Park
Lake Metigoshe State Park covers over a total of around 1,500 acres. The area's geography mainly consists of Lake Metigoshe, acres of northern forest, and various meadows and hills. Lake Metigoshe itself covers over 1,500 acres. Some of the lake extends into Canada but is not a part of Lake Metigoshe State Park. The park is also located near the southwest corner of Turtle Mountain Provincial Park located in Manitoba. Lake Metigoshe contains over 15 miles of hiking trails that meander throughout the park’s various ecosystems and geographic regions.
Lake Metigoshe State Park Weather
The weather at Lake Metigoshe State Park varies frequently throughout the year. In the summer, temperatures in the park average between 50- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit. In winter, these temperatures cool considerably and average between minus 5- and 20-degrees Fahrenheit. The warmest temperatures of the year arrive at the park in June, July, and August, and the coldest temperatures find the park in December and January. On average, Lake Metigoshe State Park receives around 50 days of rain per year. These 50 days of rain accumulate to a yearly average of around 20 inches. Lake Metigoshe State Park also experiences snowfall throughout every year. Snowfall in the park is normally heaviest in the winter months of December, January, and February. The park’s yearly snowfall totals average around 40 inches per year.
When did Lake Metigoshe Become a State Park
Lake Metigoshe State Park first became a state park in 1937. The state park was developed by workers from the WPA who arrived at the park’s area in 1934. The name Lake Metigoshe is the development of an Ojibwe word that means “clearwater lake of scrub oaks.” At one point the Lake Metigoshe State Park area provided a home to Blackfoot, Hidasata, and the Assiniboine people. The state park was developed to preserve the area’s natural resources and the history of the people who once lived here. Lake Metigoshe State Park is managed and maintained by the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department.
Things to do in Lake Metigoshe State Park
Lake Metigoshe State Park provides visitors with a variety of outdoor activities and experiences. The most popular adventures found in Lake Metigoshe State Park are discussed and listed below.
Explore the Turtle Mountain Outdoor Learning Center
The Turtle Mountain Outdoor Learning Center is the perfect place for visitors of Lake Metigoshe State Park to start their state park adventure. The learning center contains various exhibits and displays that discuss and visitors on topics such as the park’s ecology, geology, geography, history, and cultural influence. The Turtle Mountain Outdoor Learning Center also employs knowledgeable staff that can answer specific questions or alleviate concerns visitors may have about the park or their trip.
Join in on an Interpretive Program
After leaving the Turtle Mountain Outdoor Learning Center, visitors who are still looking to learn more about Lake Metigoshe State Park should look to participate in one or more of the interpretive programs offered by the park. These programs vary in topic but normally relate to the park’s ecology, history, or geology. All programs offered at Lake Metigoshe State Park are led by knowledgeable staff.
Hike one of the Park’s Trails
Lake Metigoshe State Park contains around 15 miles of hiking trails. These trails introduce visitors to the variety that is the Lake Metigoshe State Park wilderness. One of the park’s trails, the Old Oak Trail, was the first ever recreational trail established in North Dakota. The trail was built by the Youth Conservation Corps in 1974.
Cast a Line on Lake Metigoshe
Anglers visiting Lake Metigoshe State Park will want to bring all of their freshwater equipment and tackle with them to the park to try and catch the variety of fish species living in Lake Metigoshe. Popular species sought after in Lake Metigoshe include bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, and walleye. All visitors wishing to fish on Lake Metigoshe need to first obtain a valid North Dakota fishing license prior to casting.
Rent a Kayak or Canoe
Another great way for visitors to explore Lake Metigoshe State Park is by kayak or canoe. The state park rents kayaks and canoes to visitors to use on Lake Metigoshe. These rentals are located near the park’s boat ramp. Canoe and kayak rentals are eight dollars per hour and fifty dollars for the entire day. Visitors may also bring their own kayak or canoe with them to Lake Metigoshe State Park.
Lake Metigoshe State Park provides a home to a variety of wildlife species. The protection of these species factored into the state’s decision to develop a state park in the area. Popular species spotted in the park include white-tailed deer, moose, pine martens, ruffed grouse, and a variety of other woodland species. More information on the park’s wildlife can be found in the Turtle Mountain Outdoor Nature Center.
Camping in Lake Metigoshe State Park
The campground at Lake Metigoshe State Park contains sights suited for recreational vehicles and sites better suited for primitive tent camping. Visitors looking to camp in the park can make reservations online through the park’s website and reservation portal.
When to Visit Lake Metigoshe State Park
Lake Metigoshe State Park is open year-round, and visitors can plan their trip to the park throughout the year. However, occasionally deep snow makes the winter months hard to predict. The best time to visit Lake Metigoshe State Park is during the spring or summer. During these months, warm temperatures allow visitors to take full advantage of everything the park and lake have to offer.
Must Have Items to Bring to Lake Metigoshe State Park
A trip to Lake Metigoshe State Park requires a little packing and planning. Several essential items visitors should consider bringing with them when they visit the park are listed below.
Water, Electrolytes, & Snacks
Dehydration is a real concern during any outdoor recreation trip. In Lake Metigoshe State Park temperatures are rarely hot enough to be extremely threatening. However, in the summer, visitors at the park should still be extra cautious and aware of how much water they are taking in. All visitors arriving at the park should bring water, electrolyte beverages, & snacks with them. The best snacks to bring on the trail or to have in camp are lightweight, easy to consume, and full of energy.
Swimsuit, Sunscreen & Sunglass,
In order to enjoy a day at the lake or a day on the water fishing, visitors of Lake Metigoshe State Park should come prepared with a swimsuit, sunscreen and sunglasses. The sunscreen and sunglasses can also be utilized throughout the park.
Anglers hoping to catch a record largemouth or northern pike will want to make sure they remember all of their rods, reels, and freshwater lures. Anglers visiting Lake Metigoshe State Park will also want to remember to obtain a valid North Dakota State freshwater fishing license before casting their first line into Lake Metigoshe.
Let’s face it, a long camping trip requires a lot of equipment. The best way to remember all of your camping equipment when packing for Lake Metigoshe State Park is to create and utilize a camping checklist.
Wildlife Field Guides
Wildlife enthusiasts visiting Lake Metigoshe State Park will want to bring a North America specific wildlife field guide with them to the park. The best field guides contain organized chapters, full color species photos, and length descriptions that make species identification easy, educational, and enjoyable. Visitors interested in the abundance of vegetation found throughout Lake Metigoshe State Park can also purchase a vegetation specific field guide.
Where to Stay in Lake Metigoshe State Park
Visitors looking to stay within Lake Metigoshe state park will want to make a reservation for one of the park’s campsites. These campsites can be reserved online through the park’s website and reservation portal. Visitors looking to stay at a hotel or other lodging establishment near the park will want to first seek out options in Bottineau and its surrounding area. Visitors looking to stay in a larger city will want to make the drive to Fargo or Bismarck.
Food Near Lake Metigoshe State Park
The closest food to Lake Metigoshe State Park resides in Bottineau and its surrounding area. The area contains several restaurants, fast food establishments, and grocery stores that are sure to provide needed sustenance and supplies. Visitors looking for additional supplies or something specific may need to make the drive to a larger city like Fargo or Bismarck.
Airports Near Lake Metigoshe State Park
The closest international airport to Lake Metigoshe State Park is located in Grand Forks. The Grand Forks International Airport is about 200 miles or a three-hour drive away from the park. Another airport is located in Bismarck, North Dakota. The Bismarck Airport is not an international airport but is located 194 miles or about a three hour and fifteen-minute drive away from Lake Metigoshe State Park.