Lake Metigoshe State Park Offers Mountain Trails, Water Fun and Great Camping

Park Overview:


Perched atop the Turtle Mountains that straddle the US-Canadian border in North Dakota, Lake Metigoshe State Park offers both summer and winter activities. In addition, it has one of the largest lakes in the area. The park itself consists of 1,551 acres of pristine water bodies and woodlands of oak and aspen, most of which are untouched by development. Owing to this, it serves as a popular vacation destination in the Peace Garden State the whole year round.

The nearest airport, if you plan to fly in, is the municipal airport in Bottineau City – about 14 miles to the southwest. As it happens, the airport lies along 13th Avenue NE, which, after crossing 98th Street NE, becomes Lake Road. Just drive north, past a golf course and a few smaller lakes, and, after about 20 minutes, you’ll find Lake Metigoshe State Park.


Long before Lewis and Clark reached what is now North Dakota, Native American tribes roamed the land, including the Lake Metigoshe area. The Blackfoot, Hidatsa, Assiniboine, and Chippewa tribes are known to have settled around the lake. Indeed, the name “Metigoshe” comes from the Chippewa phrase “metigoche washegum”, which means clear lake amid oak trees.

The Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed the developed areas of the park in the 1930s during the Great Depression. It was part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program to provide jobs for Americans and stimulate the economy.


For people who love the outdoors but are uncomfortable sleeping on the ground or inside small tents, the park offers cabins. There are also dormitories for overnight use that have their own kitchens in case you want to prepare your own food. Further, the park also offers meeting facilities for large groups.

Picnic areas and campsites are scattered throughout. Indeed, there are a total of 129 campsites. Of these, 26 are unserviced, which means there is no electricity, potable water, or sewer hook-ups, although they do have washroom facilities. However, there are 90 power-enabled campsites, which include electricity and a potable water supply. Six walk-in campsites are also available for those who like to hike before pitching their tents in more private and secluded areas. Pull-through sites number 45, where you can park your RV beneath tall oaks and aspens.

Picnic shelters are available and tables are provided at all campsites. Firewood is also on hand. Recycling collection and sewage dumping stations are also available.


People rarely run out of things to do at Lake Metigoshe State Park, regardless of the length of their visit.

In summer, you can go boating, canoeing, or swimming in the lake. If you prefer terra firma, you can take to the mountain trails, trekking underneath tall trees, or pedaling and flying on a mountain bike. If you come at the right time, you might even get to watch the Club de Skinautique, a water skiing club that has been performing at Lake Metigoshe every summer since 1958.

As soon as the snow starts falling, you will find snowmobile daredevils crisscrossing the vast expanse of the park, cross-country skiers speeding downhill, and sled riders gliding down gentle slopes.

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Directions: Travel fourteen miles NE past the town of Bottineau, which is right along the U.S. — Canada borders

Park Details:
Park Name: Lake Metigoshe State Park Showers: Yes
State Park: Yes Electrical Hookups: Yes
Address: No. 2 Lake Metigoshe State Park Playground: Yes
City: Bottineau Acreage: 1551
State: North Dakota Horses Allowed: No
Zip Code: 58318 Picknicking: Yes
Phone Number: (701) 263-4651 Boating: Yes
Toll Free Number: Canoeing: Yes
Reservation Number: Water Skiing: Yes
Email Address: Fishing: Yes
RV Sites: Yes Swimming: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes Restaurant: No
Hiking: Yes Reservations Allowed: Yes
Biking: Yes Others: Nearby attractions: Int’l Peace Garden, golf courses, wildlife refuges, and scenic byway.
Cabins & Lodging: Yes Tent Camping: Yes

The daily pass into Lake Metigoshe State Park is $5, but if you plan on going back at least five times, it is better to get an annual pass priced at $25. The power campsites cost $20, while the unserviced are cheaper at $12.

Hours and Seasons:
Lake Metigoshe State Park is open for the whole year as there is always something to do, whatever the season.