History and Boating at Fort Stevenson State Park

Park Overview:


On the north shore of the United States’ third largest man-made lake lies Fort Stevenson State Park, a tribute to the original Fort Stevenson, which now lies 120 feet under the waters of Lake Sakakawea.

From the town of Garrison, you can get to Fort Stevenson by taking Highways 83 and 1804. The ride can reach up to 50 miles so you might want to take the shorter route northwest on 41st Avenue. From there, drive three miles south past Garrison. You will reach Fort Stevenson in a little while.


About four miles away from the state park is the original Fort Stevenson, a military fort that served as a supply depot for all other military bases located near the area in the 19th century. Around the end of the 1800s, all building and facilities within the fort were sold to the businessmen of Black & Associates. The group initially planned to raise sugar beets in the area, but decided to sell off pieces of the land to nearby landowners.

In the 1940s, the original Fort Stevenson was submerged in the waters of the man-made Lake Sakakawea, named after the Native American woman who is purported to have accompanied Lewis and Clark during their expedition.


A total of 120 campsites can be found at the state park. 105 of these are equipped with electrical hookups and have access to nearby showers. 15 of the 120 are equipped with their own showers and sewers. Also available within the campground and strewn all around the state park are flush and pit toilets.

A full-service marina, canoe rental store, boat services, and a concession shop are also situated on the northern shores of the lake. In addition, several miles of hiking and biking trails snake around the area. Further, there is an arboretum, sleeping cabins, and a swimming beach for children.


Boating is the most popular activity at Fort Stevenson State Park, where the facilities are top notch. In addition, children and students can take interpretive tours to the fort replica that was constructed near the park. Wildlife viewing is also available at the park.

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Park Details:
Park Name: Fort Stevenson State Park Showers: Yes
State Park: Yes Electrical Hookups: Yes
Address: 1252A 41st Ave. N.W., Garrison, North Dakota Playground: No
City: Garrison Acreage: 549
State: North Dakota Horses Allowed: No
Zip Code: 58540 Picknicking: Yes
Phone Number: (701) 337-5576 Boating: Yes
Toll Free Number: Canoeing: Yes
Reservation Number: (701) 337-5576 Water Skiing: No
Email Address: fssp@nd.gov Fishing: Yes
RV Sites: No Swimming: Yes
Pets Allowed: No Restaurant: No
Hiking: Yes Reservations Allowed: Yes
Biking: Yes Others: Cabins, Arboretum, ND Gov’s Cup Walleye Derby, CANDISC Bike Tour, Skydance Sakakawea Kite Festival
Cabins & Lodging: Yes Tent Camping: Yes


Entrance to the park costs $5 per vehicle per day, but frequent visitors can get a discount pass at $25 per year. For campers, a night out at a site with no electricity is $12 per head every night and $20 per head every night for those who want to rent a site equipped with hookups.

Hours and Seasons:

The state park is open all year round.