Approximately 17 miles southeast of the small city of Napoleon is Beaver Lake State Park in Wishek, where miles and miles of rolling grasslands and picturesque views of the lake await every visitor. It is a great nature-lover’s hideaway throughout the summer, where the temperature can go up to 80° during the day and dip to 60° at night, which is just perfect for canoeing, water skiing, swimming, and other water-based activities.
The state park, which has 283 acres of prairie, hiking trails, camping grounds, and a small patch of modern conveniences, is located on the western shore of Beaver Lake.
Here’s how to get there – from Napoleon, drive south for eight miles on Highway 3, go east for seven miles on Burnstad Road to the State Park turn-off, head one mile up north, then another mile east.
On July 14, 1929, residents of the first settlement in the counties of Emmons, Logan, and McIntosh gathered at the Shepherd’s Pavilion, south of what is now Beaver Lake State Park, to promote the establishment of a state park. Not so long after, in 1930, the 283 acres of prairie rolling along the western shore of Beaver Lake was bought for development. But efforts were stunted by the time the Great Depression came around. In 1933, however, the lake was damned, which increased lake levels, and in 1935, picnic areas, pathways, and earthen docks were constructed.
Developers had converted what used to be a half-mile racing track into a campground, which now has 25 campsites and three cabins. There are picnic shelters, an amphitheater, a playground, and comfort stations with showers and pull-through electrical outlets.
Summer activities are plenty from May to September. Visitors can opt to go boating, canoeing, swimming, and water-skiing in the waters of Beaver Lake, as well as camping, picnicking, and exploring through hiking and biking. And with 283 acres of nature, there is certainly a lot to explore.