Outdoor Learning Center


The Outdoor Learning Center program is available at Lake Metigoshe state park. This program offers ecology, conservation, cultural and recreational programming in an outdoor setting.

Lake Metigoshe state park provides a natural classroom to study the outdoor environment. They offer a wide range of ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, prairies, rivers, and lakes, allowing participants to experience such places with knowledgeable interpretive naturalists.

Programs offer interactive learning. Navigate a course by using a compass, grasp anatomy and physiology by dressing up like a bird, step back in time by making your own butter or even taste some wild edibles! The naturalists at the learning center will work with you to make your individual arrangements.

Scheduling information

  • Length of programs are 1 to 2 hours and depend on the size and age of the group. Group size may be limited to maximum participation due to the availability of equipment.
  • Reservations are required. Book early, especially for arrangements in the spring and summer season.
  • OLC programs are designed to handle groups of various sizes. Chaperones are required but are not charged as participants. Suggested chaperone to student ratio is 1:12.
  • Rental of housing facilities and camping may be available. Contact the learning center for rental and reservation information.
  • All participants should dress appropriately for changing weather conditions. Layers are suggested. Groups are encouraged to bring their own meals. Meal arrangements can be made for additional fees.
  • Indoor facilities may be used for portions of the program during poor weather conditions.
  • Suggested items to bring to the learning center include drinking water, bug spray, sunscreen, rain gear, lip balm and appropriate shoes for hiking.
  • Other recreational opportunities that are available onsite may include volleyball, playground equipment, fishing, hiking trails, horseshoes, geocaching, biking and many more!


Rates are $5 per participant, per program. There is a $50 minimum for groups with 10 or fewer participants. Rates include state park entrance fees for up to one bus and two vehicles. Changes and or cancellations require two weeks notice or fees may apply.

Program offerings

  • Birds of a Feather: Fly through many activities while learning to recognize the various adaptations and anatomy that distinguish between multiple species of birds. Discover how the anatomy of the beaks and feet are clues as to what a bird eats, where it lives and their role in the environment.
  • Bonkers for Botany: Embark on a tour of the different species of botanicals found in North Dakota as well as characteristics that make them unique. We’ll also learn to identify leaf shapes, arrangements and a few edibles.
  • Orienteering: Find your way here to learn what maps are, information maps provide and participate in activities requiring the use of map skills. Learn the parts of a compass, how to take a bearing and test your skills.
  • Outdoor Living Skills: Work with nature, not against it. Develop essential survival skills needed for spending time in the wilderness.
  • Sensory Hike: Get a sense of how animals rely on adaptations for survival. In this adventure, we’ll see, hear, smell, touch and perhaps taste nature while discovering ecological principles along the way.
  • Wild about Wildlife: Wildlife plays a role in our environment so join us on an expedition to discover characteristics and behaviors needed for survival. Meet them in their habitats.
  • Weather You Want It or Not: Storm into weather fronts, clouds and other meteorological phenomena created by nature.

Click on the link below for complete OLC specific program listings.

Games and Activities

The Outdoor Learning Center along with the Waterford Press provide these activity sheets to help to study the great outdoors.