Fort Ransom State Park RV & Campground Guide

North Dakota

Fort Ransom State Park is tucked away in North Dakota's Sheyenne River Valley. This serene destination is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts. The park's woodlands, pristine rivers, and rolling prairies offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and wildlife observation in the warmer months. The park is also a popular destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing once the snow arrives in the winter.

Nearby Cities:

  • Lisbon, ND

  • Enderlin, ND

  • LaMoure, ND

  • Gwinner, ND

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Spring 17°F - 69°F
Summer 53°F - 84°F
Fall 19°F - 73°F
Winter -1°F - 25°F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Fort Ransom State Park

Campground Accommodations

Fort Ransom Campground

  • Water hookup: Yes

  • Electrical hookup: Yes

  • Sewer hookup: No

  • Wi-Fi: No

  • Pet-friendly: Yes

  • Max RV length: 65 feet

  • Other amenities: Playground, boat launch, picnic tables, fire rings

Little Yellowstone Campground

Just under a 20-minute drive from the state park isLittle Yellowstone Campground, which is nestled in the hills and valley along the Sheyenne River. The campground covers 27 acres and offers 35 campsites for both tents and RVs. Daily rates from $15 - $20. Open May 1 through October 31. 

  • Water hookup: no

  • Electrical hookup: yes

  • Sewer hookup: no

  • Wifi: no

  • Pet-friendly: yes

  • Other amenities: restrooms, dump station, picnic shelters.

Clausen Springs Recreation Area

The nearbyClausen Springs Recreation Area is a beautiful area known for Clausen Springs Lake. It also has a campground on-site, including 60 campsites, 21 of which include electrical hookups. Daily rates from $15 - $20. Open May 1 through October 31. 

  • Water hookup: no

  • Electrical hookup: yes

  • Sewer hookup: no

  • Wifi: no

  • Pet-friendly: yes

  • Other amenities: restrooms, dump station, picnic shelters, boat ramp, fishing dock, swimming area.

Dead Colt Creek Recreation Area

Dead Colt Creek Recreation Area is another park located just over half-an-hour’s drive from Fort Ransom. It offers over 40 electric sites, as well as recreational activities such as boating, fishing, ice fishing, picnics and swimming.

  • Water hookup: no

  • Electrical hookup: yes

  • Sewer hookup: no

  • Wifi: no

  • Pet-friendly: yes

  • Other amenities: showers, dump station, picnic shelters, boat dock, boat ramp, swimming / fishing area.

RV Rentals Near Fort Ransom State Park

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What to Do at
Fort Ransom State Park

Fort Ransom State Park provides a wide range of year-round activities that cater to all interests and preferences. Nature lovers can indulge in hiking on scenic trails and witness the stunning beauty of the Sheyenne River Valley. Water enthusiasts can enjoy kayaking, canoeing, and swimming in the calm river waters. Make sure to take time to visit the Fort itself. History buffs will love learning about the legacy of Fort Ransom, which was established in 1867 to protect overland travelers on their journey from Minnesota to Montana.

Inside Fort Ransom State Park

This park isn’t your average destination, with its historic homestead farms, location along the Sheyenne Valley National Scenic Byway, and annual Sodbuster celebrations. Whether you’re hoping to enjoy the park’s 20 miles of stunning trails, kayak, partake in winter activities, learn about the history of the region, or more – there’s certainly something for every type of traveler at Fort Ransom.

Trails : With over 20 miles of trails for hiking, biking, equestrian, skiing, and snowmobiling use, visitors are certainly spoilt for choice. A short segment of the North Country National Scenic Trail also winds through the park. Otherpopular trails include the Redetzke Ridge Trail, Little Twig Nature Trail, and Riverside Trail.

Kayaking and canoeing : The river in the park provides great opportunities for kayaking and canoeing. Both kayaks and canoes can be rented from the park for $8/hour or $50/day. Paddles and life vests are included in the rental fee.

Winter activities : Extremely cold temperatures during the winter months brings plenty of snowfall, allowing visitors to partake in activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Exhibits : The state park encourages visitors to learn and celebrate its history through various exhibits and events. The visitors center has displays that interpret the lives of the area's 19th-century sodbusters and the Mound Builders, plus a farmstead within the park is the setting for the annual Sodbuster Days celebration with demonstrations and exhibits of homesteading life.

Fishing : The Sheyenne River also provides great fishing opportunities for anglers, including the chance to catch rare fish such as the pugnose shiner and northern redbelly dace, along with rare and unusual species of mussels.

Fishing Fishing

The waters of the Sheyenne River offer a captivating fishing experience. Cast your line into the river's gentle current and try your luck at reeling in a variety of species. Common catches in the park are walleye, northern pike, catfish, and smallmouth bass.

Geocaching Geocaching

You can enjoy the thrill of treasure hunting throughout Fort Ransom State Park. From the historic military bunkers to the tranquil forested trails, follow the coordinates and clues to uncover these hidden geocache containers. Once you find one, you can take a prize. However, don't forget to bring a family-friendly item to replace it with for the next adventurer.

Nature Watching Nature Watching

There is an abundance of animal life in Fort Ransom. You might see mink, raccoons, foxes, beavers, coyotes, and white-tailed deer. On occasion, there have been sightings of black bears. You will also want to keep your eyes on the skies since bald eagles frequent the park.

Stargazing Stargazing

On clear nights, the unobstructed dark skies at the park reveal the Milky Way in all its brilliance. You can bring a blanket to one of the designated swimming areas or set up a telescope at a picnic table to enjoy an evening of gazing at the heavens.


Fort Ransom's natural tapestry is painted with a lush array of flora, where native grasses like the iconic big bluestem sway in the wind. The meadows come alive with vibrant wildflowers, such as coneflowers, milkweed, prairie clover, goldenrods, and asters in the spring and early summer. In the low-lying areas and around the wetlands, you'll discover the beauty of cattails and bulrushes.

Hiking Hiking

The Sheyenne River National Scenic Byway Trail is a popular and well-marked trail that follows the amazing Sheyenne River. The route takes you through woodlands and open prairies, offering visitors a chance to explore the riverbanks. For another scenic option, the Whipkey Dam Trail provides a picturesque view of the dam and is suitable for all levels of hikers.


The Sheyenne River provides an excellent waterway for boating. If you want to hit the water, kayaking, and canoeing are some of the most popular boating activities in the park. The calm and slow-moving waters of the Sheyenne River are ideal for those who are new to paddling.

Swimming Swimming

You can take a dip anywhere you like in the park's Sheyenne River. However, there are designated swimming areas where it is easier to get in and out of the water.


Most of the hiking trails at the park are also open to bikers. The Redetzke Ridge Trail is popular with mountain bikers looking for a challenge and climbs to vantage points overlooking the park. This trail also connects to the North County National Scenic Trail if you want a longer ride.

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How to Get to
Fort Ransom State Park

To reach Fort Ransom State Park from Fargo, you will take a journey through the state's picturesque countryside. Start your trip by heading south on I-29 from Main Avenue. After driving approximately 20 miles, take Exit 32 for ND-46 toward Kindred and Colfax. Merge onto ND-46 South and continue for about 36 miles. In LaMoure, turn left onto ND-13 East, following signs for Marion. Drive approximately 15 miles on ND-13 East until you reach the town of Fort Ransom. Continue along ND-13 East, which becomes Main Street. You will see the park's entrance on your left.

Entering Fort Ransom State Park

Parking is available near the entrance. It costs $5 to enter the park, or you can buy an annual pass for $25.

Fort Ransom State Park Daily : $5.0

Fort Ransom State Park Annual : $25.0

There is plenty to see and do at Fort Ransom. You will also have an opportunity to spot a variety of animals, including foxes, beavers, and deer. Plus, pets are welcome to join the fun by camping and hiking with their owners.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fort Ransom State Park

What is the best time of year to visit Fort Ransom State Park?

While Fort Ransom is beautiful in the spring, summer, and fall, it is also a winter haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With 10 miles of well-maintained trails dedicated to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, visitors have plenty of opportunities to embrace the beauty of the winter landscape.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Fort Ransom State Park?

Fort Ransom State Park teems with red foxes, beavers, squirrels, coyotes, and white-tailed deer. In addition, birders will be excited to spot Cooper's hawks, wild turkeys, scarlet tanagers, and indigo buntings.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Fort Ransom State Park?

The park offers 15 campsites equipped with electric and water hookups. Additionally, equestrian enthusiasts can choose from 24 modern equestrian campsites with electricity and access to horse corrals. These camping options are available for $25 per night.

Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Fort Ransom State Park and what is the cost?

Campsites can be reserved up to 95 days in advance. A $5.80 reservation fee is added when booking a campsite online. For same-day, call-in reservations, there is a $9 fee.

Are pets allowed at Fort Ransom State Park?

At Fort Ransom State Park, furry companions are embraced as part of the adventure. There is an off-leash area at the southern tip of the park where your dog can swim in the river and meet new friends. They are also welcome in the campground and on the hiking trails.