North Dakota features thirteen fantastic state parks at scenic locations across the state. From Cross Ranch and Fort Abraham Lincoln near Bismarck in the center of the state, to Fort Ransom on the Sheyenne River in the southeastern corner of the state, to Lake Metigoshe along the Canadian border, there is much to see and explore at our state-run parks. Thanks to the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department’s State Park Pass Library Loan Program, library patrons across the state can now enter our state parks completely free of charge!
State park passes are available for loan to cardholders in good standing over the age of 18 at the public libraries across the state of North Dakota. This pass effectively waives the $5 daily vehicle entry fee to get into any of the thirteen state parks, so library patrons who check out a pass can enjoy the sights and sounds of nature in North Dakota for free (aside from any extras, like camping and rentals, of course). The Parks and Recreation Department wants as many people as possible to get out and visit its state parks, and the library loan program aims to make the opportunity available to any citizen of North Dakota, regardless of the ability to pay the entry fee. This is also a great opportunity for the public libraries of the state to expand their lending offerings and generate interest and visits to the library from people in their communities who may not be interested in checking out books or utilizing the library’s other more traditional services.
Though the weather is growing colder by the day, and most people here in the northern plains are thinking more about settling in for winter than spending time outdoors, there is still much to do and see in the state parks at this time of year and all winter long. Several of the parks offer great winter activities, including cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, snowmobile trails, heated cabins for winter camping, and more! Check out the ND Parks and Recreation Department and its thirteen state parks online at http://www.parkrec.nd.gov/parks/parks.html, then check out a park pass at your local ND public library!