Fort Ransom State Park Offers Water, Camping, and Hiking Family Fun

From Horseback Riding to Canoeing, You Can Find it All at Fort Ransom State Park

Park Overview:


Along the banks of the Sheyenne River, nestled quietly in the heavily wooded Sheyenne River Valley, is Fort Ransom State Park. A former military post established in the 1860s, the park is located two miles north of the town of Fort Ransom along the Walter Hjelle Parkway and the Sheyenne National Scenic Byway.


Fort Ransom was constructed in 1867. Its charge was to protect both the trail that spanned from Fort Abercrombie to the Missouri River and the construction crews that built the Northern Pacific Railroad. The fort was named after Gen. T.E.G. Ransom, a celebrated officer during the Civil War. Five years after its establishment, though, the military abandoned the fort, after which Scandinavian farmers moved in to the area. In fact, two of their most historic homesteads, the Bjone House and the Sunne Farm, are used as the state park’s visitor center and historical living exhibit.


The Bjone Visitor Center has artifact exhibits from the previous settlement in Fort Ransom. In addition, lovers of the outdoors can enjoy the state park’s primitive and full-serviced campsites that provide hot showers, electrical hookups, and access to a sewage dump. They also have cabins and horse pens for horseback riders. There are 2.6 miles of hiking trails and approximately six miles of ski trails. Canoe rentals are also available, as well as corrals and a group campsite for horseback riding.


The Sheyenne River that flows along the periphery of the park is great for water sports. Canoeing and kayaking are popular here during the summer, while snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing are favorite winter pastimes. Nature lovers can also bask in the outdoors through year-round camping, picnicking, and hiking.

Twice every summer, Fort Ransom holds the Sodbuster Days at the Sunne Farm homestead. The Sodbuster Days is an annual festival featuring early farming displays and demos of antique farming machinery, horse-drawn fieldwork, and farm cooking.

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Directions: SE side of the state and two miles past north of the town of Fort Ransom

Park Details:
Park Name: Fort Ransom State Park Showers: Yes
State Park: Yes Electrical Hookups: Yes
Address: 5981 Walter Hjelle Parkway, Fort Ransom, North Dakota Playground: Yes
City: Fort Ransom Acreage: 887
State: North Dakota Horses Allowed: Yes
Zip Code: 58033 Picknicking: Yes
Phone Number: (701) 973-4331 Boating: Yes
Toll Free Number: Canoeing: Yes
Reservation Number: (701) 973-4331 Water Skiing: No
Email Address:, Fishing: Yes
RV Sites: Yes Swimming: Yes
Pets Allowed: No Restaurant: No
Hiking: Yes Reservations Allowed: Yes
Biking: Yes Others: Kayaking, Cross Country Skiing, Snowmobiling, Snowshoeing, Interpretive Tours
Cabins & Lodging: No Tent Camping: Yes

Fees at Fort Ransom State Park are in the same range as that of all other state parks in North Dakota. Entrance per vehicle is $5, but you can pay a one-time fee of $25 for an entire year’s pass. The “primitive” camping fee is $12 per person per night, while full service camping is $20. If you are going to bring a horse, you need to pay a $6 per horse maintenance fee.

Hours and Seasons:
The park stays open all year round.