Seven miles south of Mandan, North Dakota, along the banks of the Missouri River is Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. What used to be a native Mandan village that was converted into a military post by the 6th U.S. Infantry is now one of the state’s must-see state parks. Fort Abraham Lincoln is teeming with culture and history, as well as huge picturesque spots for camping and hiking.
To get there from Mandan, take the Main Street Exit (Exit 155) west on Main Street to 6th Avenue. Then, drive south on 6th Avenue for seven miles to get to the state park. If you are east-bound, take the Sunset Drive Exit (Exit 152) then drive south on Sunset Drive to Main Street. On Main Street, turn east to 6th Avenue then south, then drive seven miles to Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.
In the 1870s, the native Mandan tribe put up a village on the banks of the Missouri river after moving from their settlement from the junction of the Missouri River and Heart River. At around the same time the new village was built, Lt. Col. Daniel Huston Jr. and the 6th U.S. Infantry division established Fort McKeen on the same site. The military site was developed to include barracks, officer’s quarters, cavalry stables, a post office, telegraph office, hospital, bakery, quartermaster storehouse, guardhouse, granary, and laundress quarters.
After Lt. Col. George A. Custer’s defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the military abandoned the site. The Native Indians followed in 1883 when the construction of the railroad to Montana was completed. It was only years later, in 1934, when the Civilian Conservation corps built a visitor center in the area, which was developed to become Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park.
The state park offers trolley services from Mandan to the state park for groups or families who choose not to use private transportation. Aside from museums and reconstructed native villages, the park also features 95 campsites with showers and electricity, cabins, a dump station, hiking and horseback trails, a playground, and picnic shelters.
Guided historical tours of the Custer House and the reconstructed village of Mandan earthen lodges. And the On-a-Slant Village are available every half hour. The tours can also be taken on horseback for an additional fee. Of course, Fort Abraham Lincoln also has amenities for other recreational activities such as camping and hiking.
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Directions: Once in Mandan, head south and you’ll shortly reach Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
|Park Name:||Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park||Showers:||Yes|
|State Park:||Yes||Electrical Hookups:||Yes|
|Address:||4480 Fort Lincoln Road, Mandan, North Dakota||Playground:||Yes|
|State:||North Dakota||Horses Allowed:||Yes|
|Phone Number:||(701) 667-6380 / 667-6360||Boating:||No|
|Toll Free Number:||Canoeing:||No|
|Reservation Number:||(701) 667-6380/667-6360||Water Skiing:||No|
|Email Address:||firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com||Fishing:||Yes|
|Biking:||Yes||Others:||Historical Sites such as On-a-Slant Village, General George Custer’s last home|
|Cabins & Lodging:||Yes||Tent Camping:||Yes|
Entrance to the park is $5 per vehicle and a discounted $25 for a whole-year pass. Guided tours at the state park cost $4 for students and $6 for adults. For camping, one person costs $12 per night for primitive camping and $20 per night for camping with electricity.
Hours and Seasons:
While the park itself is open all year round, the Custer House, the On-a-Slant Village, and other cultural-historical sites at the park are open to visitors only from May to September.