Sheyenne River Valley Tour 1 Day RV Itinerary

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Day 1

Start: Rosebud Visitor Center

Suggested Time at This Site:     30 minutes

Our tour of the Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway begins at the Rosebud Visitor Center in downtown Valley City. Built to reflect the design of the early railroad era, the site centers on Rosebud, an 1881 Northern Pacific Superintendent's Railcar. Explore the railroad history of the Sheyenne River Valley, then pick up tourism brochures, including a guide to the Historic Bridges Tour in Valley City.

Stop 2: Barnes County Historical Museum

Directions from previous place:     

From the Rosebud Visitor's Center, head east on W Main St. toward Central Ave. S. Turn left onto Central Avenue N. and continue to the Barnes County Historical Museum, at 315 Central Ave N.
Distance from Previous Site:          0.25 miles / 0.4 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     2 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:        30 minutes

The Barnes County Historical Museum will delight travelers of all ages with a wide variety of displays of local life and lore.

Stop 3: Kathryn

Directions from previous place:     

Start out going south on CR-21 / Central Ave. N. towards 3rd St. NW. Turn right onto W. Main St. / CR-21 and continue for 0.5 miles. Turn left onto 8th Ave. SW (CR-21). Continue to follow CR-21 for 17.2 miles. At this point, turn left on CR-38. Continue for 0.6 miles onto 1st Ave. in Kathryn.
Distance from Previous Site:          18.6 miles / 29.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     25 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          20 minutes

As you follow the Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway south from Valley City to Kathryn, be sure to look on your left for the Daily Town Site and the King School. These historic sites preserve the memory of the vanished town of Daily, and offer handmade crafts. Once you reach Kathryn, take a moment to view the historic buildings located along main street, including an old brick bank and a small historic jail. For those of you interested in camping, a short drive down County Road 38 will take you to Clausen Springs and the Birch Creek Historic Site.

Stop 4: Wadeson Park Area Historic Sites

Directions from previous place:     

Follow County Road 38 east out of Kathryn to the junction of Oakhill Township Road, and then turn right.

Head east out of Kathryn along County Road 38. Your meandering drive will bring you to the Walker Dam Site on your left and the Wadeson Park State Historic Site. These historic sites include a cabin and dam remains from the 19th century. Continue east on County Road 38 to the junction of Oakhill Township Road, turn right and drive to historic Waldheim Church.

Stop 5: Standing Rock Historic Site

Directions from previous place:     

After Waldheim Church, the route name changes to Thordenskjold Township Road. Continue south to ND Highway 46. When you reach the crossroad of Highway 46 you should take in the second spur of your tour with a left turn up the hill, driving east approximately 1.8 miles to the turnoff to the Standing Rock State Historic site.
Distance from Previous Site:            3 miles / 4.8 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     10 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:          20 minutes

Drive or hike up the hill to the Standing Rock State Historic Site for an all-encompassing view of the valley from the top of a large block of shale that was moved from about three miles southwestward and lifted about 200 feet. This site has Native American burial grounds and the stone has long been of significance to natives. Please respect the sacred nature of this area.

Stop 6: Fort Ransom State Park

Directions from previous place:     

From Standing Rock Historic Site, return to the junction of Highway 46 and turn right to continue along County Road 13 to the entrance of Fort Ransom State Park.
Distance from Previous Site:            5 miles / 8.0 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     15 minutes
Suggested Time at This Site:            2 hours

As you follow County Road 13 through Ransom County, look for Slattum Cabin Historic Site. Slattum Cabin features a lovely collection of wildflowers, and a re-enactor may still have clothes on the line.

After continuing south to Fort Ransom State Park, spend some time exploring the forest trails or paddling a canoe on the Sheyenne River. On select summer weekends, the Sunne Demonstration Farm features live demonstrations of old-time farm life. For more information about events at Fort Ransom State Park, visit

This 887-acre park provides for a wealth of outdoor activites including camping, fishing, picknicking, horseback riding (bring your own horse), canoeing, cross country skiing, hiking, birding and nature photography.

Stop 7: Viking Hill and Fort Ransom

Directions from previous place:     

From Fort Ransom State Park, turn right onto County Road 13 to continue into Fort Ransom. Turn left onto Valley Road to continue along the byway or turn right to enter Fort Ransom.
Distance from Previous Site:          2 miles / 3.2 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     5 minutes

As you enter the small community of Fort Ransom, the prominent landmark is a steep pyramidal hill topped by a large Viking statue. A local historian claimed that about one-third of the mound is man-made, being built an estimated 5000 to 9000 years ago by an ancient civilization. You can take some time to explore Fort Ransom's historic sites, including the T.J. Walker Historic District and the nearby Fort Ransom State Historic Site.

End: Lisbon

Directions from previous place:     

After visiting Fort Ransom, continue along Valley Road and the Sheyenne River Scenic Byway. The route will take you past Sheyenne State Forest and wind along the Sheyenne River. Turn right at the junction of State Route 32 to continue into Lisbon.
Distance from Previous Site:          10 miles / 16.0 km
Travel Time from Previous Site:     20 minutes

Lisbon marks the end of the Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway. The nearby Sheyenne National Grasslands are well-known locally for a large variety of birds and other wildlife.

There are many more hidden treasures along the Sheyenne River Valley Scenic Byway, so feel free to return, camp, or relax. Happy hunting!

Totals for Day 1
Total Distance Traveled:     38.85 miles / 62.2 km
Total Travel Time:                  1 hour 17 minutes
Total Stopping Time:             3 hours 40 minutes

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