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North Country Trail: Sheyenne National Grasslands Middle Section

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

9.4 mile 15.2 kilometer point to point
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 93' 28 m
Descent: -91' -28 m
High: 1,090' 332 m
Low: 1,063' 324 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 3% (2°)

Dogs

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Trail shared by Matthew Davis

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A beautiful hike through rolling grassland hills and hardwood forests.

Matthew Davis

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked

Family Friendly Easy, out-and-back hiking options.

Description

This section of the NCT leaves Hwy 27 heading north, crosses a fence, and then winds around some tall sand dune hills covered with aspen trees. This section features a few bad blowouts which require tough hiking through the sand—just like at the beach.

The NCT crosses a doubletrack road heading northwest, and it passes by numerous wetlands (look for rare western prairie fringed orchids). It passes just to the west of a solar panel-powered stock watering tank, passes through a fence, and then crosses the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks. Look for trains before crossing.

North of the railroad tracks, the NCT continues heading north along a fenceline before turning east through a hardwood tree plantation, crossing an open prairie and then another tree plantation. The NCT swings southeast then turns, heading east-northeast. Look to the north and you can see some taller sand dune hills.

Next, the trail passes through some small aspen groves, crosses some fences, and then passes by some old ghost cottonwood trees before reaching Hwy 53. The trailhead parking is located on the east side of the road and can be accessed by a short spur trail.

Flora & Fauna

This portion of the Sheyenne National Grassland features rolling hills (grass covered sand dunes) and pothole wetlands. Plants include tallgrass prairie grass and forb species and groves of ash, oaks, and aspen trees. Visitors can learn more about wildlife here.

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  4.0 from 1 vote

#11797

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#36

in North Dakota

#11,797

Overall
4 Views Last Month
132 Since Feb 28, 2018
Easy/Intermediate

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Photos

Sunrise over the Grasslands
Mar 5, 2018 near Sheldon, ND
A Canadian Pacific train coming to the crossing!
Mar 5, 2018 near Sheldon, ND
Heading through the swing gate
Mar 5, 2018 near Sheldon, ND
Trail marker posts and a shallow blowout caused by cows congregating by the post for rubbing.
Mar 5, 2018 near Sheldon, ND
Windmill and stock tank
Mar 5, 2018 near Sheldon, ND
Old car / tractor parts along the NCT provide a glimpse of the area's homesteading history
Mar 5, 2018 near Sheldon, ND

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