Looking to Hike or Cross-Country Ski? Then You Have to See Gunlogson State Nature Preserve…

Park Overview:


Gunlogson State Nature Preserve is a part of Icelandic State Park, which is located about five miles to the west of Cavalier City in the northeastern section of North Dakota, close to the Canadian border. A three-quarter mile portion of the Tongue River winds through the preserve, undoubtedly helping provide nourishment for the trees and plants in the area, feeding its ponds and streams.

Since Cavalier has its own municipal airport, getting to the Gunlogson State Nature Preserve is easy. Tarmac to preserve is only a 12-minute drive.

From Airport Road head northeast and turn left onto N Dakota 5 W, turn right to Akra Road, and take the first left. That’s 135th Ave NE. You will find Gunlogson State Nature Preserve on your right.

If you are driving from Bismarck, it can take five hours, as the nature preserve is 276 miles away.


The early Gunlogson family homesteaded stood in the area for 80 years prior to the donation of 200 acres of their land by G. B. Gunlogson to the State of North Dakota in 1963. This was to become the first of North Dakota’s dedicated nature preserves.


As the place is a nature preserve, the only man-made convenience you can find within the Gunlogson area is the marked trail system that crisscrosses the brush, forest, marsh, meadow, and prairies. This, of course, is what gives the place its attraction as it provides a habitat for its wild plant and animal life.

You will, however, find basic amenities within the Icelandic State Park such as a boat ramp, cabins, campgrounds with or without electrical hookups, picnic shelters, playground, RV dump station, showers, and a visitor center.


Intended as a showcase of land as formed by the forces of nature, Gunlogson State Nature Preserve is the perfect place for true blue nature-lovers to hike. They can observe and study such rare plants as ladyfern, small enchanter’s nightshade, water avens, and southern watermeal. Further, if birders get lucky, they can catch a glimpse of a piliated woodpecker, common loon, mourning warbler, and other rare species.

In winter, the trails become snowfields for cross-country skiing where you can speed past American elm, basswood, bur oaks, and ironwood.

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Park Details:
Park Name: Gunlogson State Nature Preserve Showers: No
State Park: Yes Electrical Hookups: No
Address: Icelandic State Park
13571 Hwy. 5
Playground: No
City: Cavalier Acreage: 200
State: North Dakota Horses Allowed: No
Zip Code: 58220 Picknicking: No
Phone Number: (701) 265-4561 Boating: No
Toll Free Number: Canoeing: No
Reservation Number: Water Skiing: No
Email Address: isp@nd.gov Fishing: No
RV Sites: No Swimming: No
Pets Allowed: No Restaurant: No
Hiking: Yes Reservations Allowed: No
Biking: No Others: The nature preserve is located inside Icelandic State Park. This is where you can find cabins, campgrounds, and other amenities.
Cabins & Lodging: No Tent Camping: No

The only fees you will have to pay are those charged by Icelandic State Park. Entrance fee is $5 per day per vehicle, but a $25-pass can be purchased for a year-long access. Commercial buses, however, are charged a $20-daily rate, and $125 for a pass that is good for one year.

Hours and Seasons:
Gunlogson State Nature Preserve is open for the entire year.