North Dakota plans new state park near Canadian border
(Valley News Live/AP) - North Dakota is planning a new state park in a scenic gorge close to the Canadian border to promote tourism in the northeastern part of the state.
The Pembina Gorge State Recreation Area (PGSRA) will be developed into North Dakota’s 14th state park with funding secured during the 2023 legislative session. The legislature approved $6 million dollars for the new park facilities. The additional $2 million for the initial development will come from a matching federal Land and Water Conservation Fund grant.
Development of the park will include underground utilities, roads, an approximately 35-site campground, six all-season, full-service cabins, a comfort station, shop and seasonal staff accommodations at a cost of approximately $8 million.
“The Pembina Gorge is one of North Dakota’s most beautiful areas, offering an incredible array of recreational activities including canoeing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, skiing, snowmobiling, hunting and birdwatching,” said Governor Doug Burgum. “Establishing our 14th state park in the Pembina Gorge will elevate its status as a must-see destination and provide additional opportunities for visitors from North Dakota and beyond to experience all that this special area has to offer.”
Future development of the park may include a visitor center with indoor and outdoor learning areas and retail and office space. Because of its proximity to Winnipeg, Canada, the park is expected to draw Canadian tourists and others to the gorge, which was carved out by glaciers.
The PGSRA opened to the public in 2012. Since opening, the recreation area has expanded its trail system to include 30 miles of trails open to hiking, equestrian and OHV use as well as a parking area and vault facilities at the trail head.
In 2017, an additional 165 acres near the recreation area was secured for future development of a campground. Throughout 2022 and 2023, the North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department has been working with an engineering firm to develop preliminary plans and drawings for the new state park.
North Dakota’s most recent development of a state park was in 1989 when Cross Ranch State Park opened near Center.
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