Field Trip & Program Opportunities

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Park staff offer year-round opportunities for individuals and groups to participate in field trips, youth camps, demonstrations, tours and interpretive talks. Tickets, pre-registration or reservations are often required, so contact the park you’re interested in to inquire.

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Field Trips

Starting in 2022, in partnership with the ND Department of Public Instruction, ND Parks and Recreation announces the availability of field trip funding assistance for North Dakota students! Click here for details on funding assistance and partnership details.

Why: North Dakota state parks provide an abundant number of natural, cultural, historical, and recreational opportunities! Go back in time to learn about Native American, pioneer, and settler history by taking a historical tour or head outdoors to study or recreate in the natural beauty of a State Park. Across North Dakota, state parks provide a wide range of ecosystems including forests, wetlands, prairies (short and tall-grass), rivers, and lakes to enjoy.  

Where: Most North Dakota state parks offer ranger or interpreter-guided field trips. ND has 13 state parks and several additional recreation areas! [view map] Please note that four state parks have year-round interpretive staff and are able to provide more consistent field trip (educational) programing: Fort Abraham Lincoln, Icelandic, Lake Metigoshe, and Turtle River State Parks. 

What: Click here to learn more about the topics and activities that may be available in a park near you. Please note that the topics may be park-specific and are not available in every North Dakota state park. Age limitations may be enforced, and liability waivers may be required depending upon the topic/activity. 

When: Year-round, but dependent upon time of year and staffing levels, knowledge, and availability. Programs are usually 1-2 hours in length depending on the topic, size and age of the group, and equipment involved. Reservations are required and early booking is recommended, especially for the spring and summer months. 

How: Please call the park of your choice to inquire about individualized field trip experiences for your students/children. Upon reaching an agreed-upon field trip date, you will receive confirmation paperwork to complete as well as additional information specific to your visit. Field trips must be scheduled and confirmed at least two weeks in advance. 

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Fees/Rates

Student programming fees are $5/program/person (except tours of the On-A-Slant Village and Custer House at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park which have a different pricing structure). There is a minimum programming fee of $50 per program. 

Programming fees include state park entrance fees up to one bus and two vehicles per program. Additional vehicles are subject to the ND Parks & Recreation Department’s entrance fees of either $7 per vehicle/day or use of an annual vehicle permit ($35 per year). 

Cancellation or change of date/time must be confirmed with the park at least two weeks in advance. There is a cancellation fee of $50 if the field trip is canceled within two weeks of the scheduled arrival date. 

What to Bring

In general, participants are required to bring their own water, lunch, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, lip balm, medications, etc. Participants must be appropriately dressed for weather conditions including appropriate footwear for outdoor activities.

Chaperone and Disciplinary Requirements

Teachers, principals, chaperones, mentors, etc. are required to always stay with the group(s) of students and participate in the programming activities to encourage a positive learning experience for all.

A student-to-chaperone ratio of 12:1 must be maintained. However, additional chaperones over this ratio will be considered a participant and programming fees will apply.

Disciplinary actions, when/if needed, are the responsibility of the group’s principal/teacher/mentor/chaperones that are present. Failure to address disciplinary issues may result in the remaining program being canceled and a $50 cancellation fee.

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ND State Parks Field Days

In partnership with the ND Department of Public Instruction, the ND Parks & Recreation Department will host a series of exciting learning opportunities focused on science, nature exploration, outdoor recreation, and North Dakota history. These North Dakota State Parks Field Days will be tailored to the sixth-grade level (10-12 years of age).

Topics provided will depend upon staff availability, location, and weather conditions. A list of the topics that may be covered include:

  • History of North Dakota (Native Americans & Pioneers)
  • Paleontology of fossils found in ND including ancient fish
  • Geology, including rock/mineral identification and importance
  • Adaptations (animal and plant)
  • Orienteering (compass and map reading)
  • Water or carbon cycle
  • Ecological and historical games
  • River/wetland creatures
  • Trees/Birds/Reptiles/Amphibians/Plants (identification, importance)
  • Use of binoculars and field guides for animal identification
  • Furs (adaptations and historical importance of the fur trade)
  • Animal tracks and signs
  • Soil structure, texture, and biology

How to Register

There is no cost to participate! Register online for a particular date by using the appropriate link. Reservations must be received at least one week in advance. Hurry as each day is limited to 200 student participants!

To ensure a smooth registration process:

Have information about your students ready, including t-shirt size, food allergies, other general allergies, medications, emergency contact information, health concerns and any other conditions that may affect participation.

Financial Assistance:

There will be no participant registration fees for the first 200 students who register for each camp! Moreover, public and private school groups arriving by bus may be eligible to apply for transportation reimbursement expenses. Apply here!

Locations, Dates and Registration Links for 2022

All Field Days will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST)

April 21: Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park (7 miles S of Mandan, ND)
Click to register

April 22: Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park (7 miles S of Mandan, ND)
Click to register

May 24: Turtle River State Park (20 miles W of Grand Forks, ND)
Click to register

May 25: Turtle River State Park (20 miles W of Grand Forks, ND)
Click to register

July 19: Cross Ranch State Park (10 miles S of Washburn, ND) 
Click to register

July 20: Cross Ranch State Park (10 miles S of Washburn, ND)
Click to register

September 6: Lake Metigoshe State Park (15 miles N of Bottineau, ND)
Click to register

September 7: Lake Metigoshe State Park (15 miles N of Bottineau, ND)
Click to register

October 4: Icelandic State Park (6 miles W of Cavalier, ND)
Click to register

October 5: Icelandic State Park (6 miles W of Cavalier, ND)
Click to register

Dates and locations for 2023 will be announced in early 2023!

COVID-19 Updates

The health and safety of participants and staff are our top priority. These field days will be adapted as needed based on current North Dakota Department of Health guidelines.

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What to Bring

In general, participants should bring water bottle, bug spray, lip balm, medications, etc. Participants must be appropriately dressed for weather conditions including appropriate footwear for outdoor activities. Lunch will be provided.

Chaperone and Disciplinary Requirements

Teachers, principals, chaperones, mentors, etc. are required to always stay with their group(s) of students and participate in the programming activities to encourage a positive learning experience for all.

A student-to-chaperone ratio of approximately 12:1 must be maintained.

Disciplinary actions, when/if needed, are the responsibility of the group’s principal/teacher/mentor/chaperones that are present.

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Day Camps at Lake Metigoshe State Park’s Outdoor Learning Center

Lake Metigoshe State Park is home to an Outdoor Learning Center offering interactive ecology, conservation, cultural and recreational programming in an outdoor setting.  

The Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) at Lake Metigoshe State Park is excited to host day camps focusing on environmental education and outdoor recreational skills for youth ages seven to 12. Registration for the 2022 OLC Day Camp season opens May 18 at 10 a.m. online here. Full event details can be found here.

Camp Dates for Ages 7 & 8

  • June 29
  • June 30
  • July 27
  • August 3


Camp Dates for Ages 9-12

  • June 21
  • July 6
  • August 10
  • August 11

Please note: Day Camp fees are $40/day; participants can sign up for one or multiple days. Fees cover the use of all equipment, lunch and a snack.

Visitors from outside the area that have a child or children wanting to participate are encouraged to reserve a campsite or make a reservation in one of the Lake Metigoshe State Park cabins or yurt. Check availability online or call 1-800-807-4723.

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