12 Months–12 Hikes Challenge 

The 12 Months-12 Hikes Challenge is going mobile! Experience a fresh hiking challenge every season of 2024 through our new North Dakota State Parks mobile app, powered by OuterSpatial. Check in, track your progress, connect with fellow participants and compete for the top spot on the leaderboard. You can earn digital badges in addition to entries in prize drawings for gift cards, camping stays and annual permits. Join us in making the most of the new year outdoors!

Here's how it works: 
  • Download the OuterSpatial App.
    Apple app store icon Google play store icon QR code to download app

  • Starting July, join the 12 Months-12 Hikes Summer Challenge on the app.

  • Check in to any of the state park trails shown on the app under the Challenges tab.

  • Make it your goal to hike at least three trails each season. Hike more to climb the leaderboard!

  • Prizes will be drawn each season for qualifying participants. See official rules below for details.  

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Offical Rules

There will be a challenge on the app during each season of the year as follows: 


Winter: January 1 – March 31, 2024  
Spring: April 1 – June 30, 2024 
Summer: July 1 – September 30, 2024 
Fall: October 1 – December 31, 2024 


  • Download the free OuterSpatial app to your mobile device and create an account in the app to participate. 

  • Check in to at least three trails per season and earn a digital badge for each completed trail and seasonal challenge. Note: All badges are digital; no physical items will be mailed. 

  • Participants can begin a seasonal challenge at any time during which the challenge is open. If you miss the challenge during one season, no problem, you can sign up for the next one when it starts!  

  • Check-ins will be allowed all season long, subject to seasonal, weather-related, or emergency closures. (Each seasonal challenge will begin at 12:00 a.m. (CST) and end at 11:59 pm. (CST) on the dates listed above.) 

  • Multiple check-ins (on different trails) are allowed each day or month.  

  • Check-in can occur anywhere on a participating trail. 

  • Only location-verified check-ins will qualify for prizes.

  • No check-ins other than through the app will be accepted. 

  • Participating trails may change during each of the four seasonal challenges. 

  • Participating trails will vary in distance, type of path, and difficulty. No special signage will be provided on the trails indicating that it is a participating trail. Only the app will indicate participating trails. Trails may not be stroller friendly. Please refer to online information, app information, park maps, or inquire with park employees for questions on trail conditions or difficulty. 

  • Leashed pets are welcome on our trails, but please clean up after them! 


Additional Information 

There is no cost to participate in these seasonal hiking challenges. However, entering any state park by vehicle requires the display of a North Dakota Parks & Recreation annual permit or a vehicle day pass. These permits are available to purchase at any state park visitor center/office (hours of operation may vary) or will be available for purchase starting January 11 online


The entire family is encouraged to participate in the seasonal challenges. However, only individuals who download and check-in through the app will qualify for prizes. Trail activities don’t necessarily need to be hiking. Biking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or other trail activities can also be done. However, each trail has limitations on the usage of that trail. Refer to trail information online or in print for allowed usage. 

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Prizes are based on the number of hikes completed each season. There are two ways to win: hike three trails in a three-month period and/or be in the top 50 on the challenge leaderboard at the end of each season. 


  • Complete three hikes in a season to be entered into a drawing for one of two $50 North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department gift cards. Prizes will be drawn at the end of each season and winners will be notified via email. 


  • Additionally, the top 50 on the leaderboard in each seasonal challenge will be entered into a drawing for two nights of weekday camping at any North Dakota State Park. The more trails you hike, the higher you climb on the leaderboard. Prizes will be drawn at the end of each season and winners will be notified via email. 


At the end of the year, the top 50 individuals from each quarter will be entered into a drawing for one of 10, 2025 annual permits to be given away. 


Current employees of NDPRD or employees who were employed with NDPRD during a challenge timeframe are not eligible to be entered into the drawings.

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How do I participate in the 2024 12 Months-12 Hikes Challenge?  

  • Download the OuterSpatial App, create an account and click the Challenge tab to select the current seasonal challenge. Click Participate, get out to a trail, check-in and start hiking!  

Where do I find a qualifying trail to hike?   

  • All North Dakota State Park trails listed under the To-Do section of the seasonal challenges qualify. Please note that once you have checked into a trail for that season, it will move to the Done tab and you will not be able to hike that trail for credit until the next season opens. 

Can I do my hike any time during the season?  

  • Yes. The trails are open all season long! However, be aware that some parks are only open seasonally and other areas may close due to weather-related events or emergency situations. If you have questions, call ahead to confirm the trail/park is open. 

Can I do more than one hike a month and have it count towards my 12?  

  • Yes! Get out and hike as much as you can. You need three hikes over a three-month period to be eligible for the gift card drawing. The drawing for the camping nights depends on where you fall in the leaderboard so the more trails the better!  

What are the participating locations?  

  • Participating locations include Beaver Lake, Fort Abraham Lincoln, Icelandic, Fort Ransom, Turtle River, Lake Metigoshe, Lake Sakakawea, Grahams Island, Lewis & Clark, Cross Ranch, Sully Creek, Little Missouri and Fort Stevenson state parks along with Pembina Gorge State Recreation Area. Additional locations may be added throughout the challenge and will be posted when active.  

Can I participate with other people?  

  • You can participate as an individual, a couple, with friends, or with your family. However, to be eligible for the prize drawing they must have an account set up through the OuterSpatial App and check-in separately.  

Can members of the same household participate separately?  

  • Yes, but each participant must have the app and account through OuterSpatial.  

Is there an age requirement?  

  • All ages are welcome to participate in the hiking challenge! 

Can the same account be utilized by multiple people?  

  • Participants are only eligible for prizes if they have their own account through OuterSpatial.  

Do I have to do the trails in any particular order?  

  • No, you can choose to complete all hikes in one location, or you can venture to as many locations as you like. However, to climb to the top of the leaderboard each season you may need to venture to different locations.  

What if I didn’t find out about the challenge until after it started?  

  • No problem! Jump in at any time. In order to qualify for a prize drawing you just need to complete three hikes during one of the timeframes listed above.  

Do I have to register?  

Are there any fees affiliated with the 12 Months - 12 Hikes Challenge?  

  • Although there is no cost affiliated with the 2023 12 Months - 12 Hikes Challenge itself, fees may include state park entrance fees, camping fees and associated reservation fees. 

Can I check in if I don't have cellular service?

  • Once you've started participating in a challenge, the rest of the challenge functionality will work even when you're using the OuterSpatial app in low network or no network situations. You can respond to challenge tasks while offline, but, if/when you do so, you must submit your challenge task responses when you get back into network service. To submit challenge task responses that were saved while offline, come back to the challenge screen, tap on the "More" button in the upper, right-hand corner, and select "Submit Pending Responses". This will submit the challenge task responses that were saved while offline.


Need additional help? Reach out to us here.

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OuterSpatial App

Your mobile field guide to North Dakota State Parks and trails!

North Dakota State Parks visitors can access information about parks and trails easily from their mobile devices. Using the OuterSpatial platform, North Dakota State Parks' mobile application is free and available for both iPhone and Android devices. The app includes offline mapping and navigation — and access continues even without a cell phone signal.

Apple app store icon Google play store icon

Once you've downloaded the app, go to the North Dakota Community where you will find maps and content for North Dakota State Parks.