Posts in category Maah Daah Hey Trail

5 of the Best Hikes in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

5 of the Best Hikes in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Hike in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Hike TRNP during the National Park Service Centennial Celebration in 2016

The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year and, of course, in Medora, people absolutely love to experience the wonder of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the heart of the Nor

th Dakota Badlands.

To help you plan your trip to celebrate with the Park, and to celebrate what inspired our 26th President so much during his time in Dakota Territory, here are some of the must see spots when you go to TRNP! (Plus, enjoy a little Josh Duhamel voice at the bottom)

 

1. The Maltese Cross Cabin
Originally located about seven miles south of Medora in the wooded bottom-lands of the Little Missouri, the Maltese Cross Ranch was one of the places Theodore Roosevelt stayed during his time in North Dakota. Now located at the TRNP South Unit Visitors Center, this is a must-see window into the past, and the President’s time in the Dakota Territory.

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This year, EXPERIENCE THE BADLANDS. Pre-register now.

This year, EXPERIENCE THE BADLANDS. Pre-register now.

The best way to experience the Badlands – and we mean really experience them – is to get right in the heart of ’em the way Teddy would.

And the best way to do that, is to take in some of our favorite Badlands events.

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Here are a few great Badlands events so, mark your calendars and
pre-register now for some great savings!

 

Badlands Gravel Battle – May 29
A bike race through the back-roads of the Badlands. The Badlands Gravel Battle grinds across fast and rugged, red scoria roads in a 120 or 75 mile loop!
Learn more and save 20% when you sign up on Jan 1!

 

Medora’s Bully Run – June 4
This 5k Fun Run or Walk winds its way through Historic Medora and the beautiful Badlands during opening weekend of the Medora Musical. 
Sign up for just $15 when you pre-register starting Jan 1!

 

MDH 100 Mountain Bike Race – August 6
These 100, 75, 50, or 25 mile Maah Daah Hey races take you across one of the most majestic single-track adventures in the world. With miles of uninterrupted trail through the heart of the rugged Badlands, this is a race you will never forget!
Learn more and save 20% when you sign up on Jan 1!

 

Maah Daah Hey 5k/10k Trail Run – August 20
Experience the breath-taking beauty of the North Dakota Badlands as you run on portions of the renowned, Maah Daah Hey Trail!
Learn more about this revamped run!

 

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For more information on these and other events,
head to Medora.com/Events all year.

(above: Nick Ybarra rides a scenic ridge near the Maah Daah Hey trail)

PS – If the MDH 100 isn’t enough fun (or torture!) for you, the new Maah Daah Hey 150 Mountain Bike Race will be held September 17 – 22. Registration details here.

MEDORA — The missing link on North Dakota’s longest and most premiere recreational trail is in place.

MEDORA — The missing link on North Dakota’s longest and most premiere recreational trail is in place.

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After two decades of development, the north and south segments of the Maah Daah Hey Trail are joined together with a 2.5-mile segment leaving from Sully Creek State Park south of Medora. The connecting link is in some of the prettiest Badlands country and makes possible seamless passage from the original 100 miles of Maah Daah Hey Trail to the newer 50-mile stretch, called by some The Deuce. READ MORE »

4 Astonishing Hiking Trails in TRNP You Must Experience.

If you haven’t heard, North Dakota Tourism came out with some fantastic new ads promoting our great state. One of our favorite’s shows the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in all its majesty. The ad goes on to show many of our favorite land marks and gets everybody here in Medora excited about going on a hike.

The ad also got us thinking, what are some of the must see spots when you go to TRNP? After much debate, here is our top four:

1. The Maltese Cross Cabin
Originally located about seven miles south of Medora in the wooded bottom-lands of the Little Missouri, the Maltese Cross Ranch was one of the places Theodore Roosevelt stayed during his time in North Dakota. Now located at the TRNP South Unit Visitors Center, this is a must-see window into the past, and the President’s time in the Dakota Territory.

2. Wind Canyon
Enjoy hiking this nature trail alongside a wind-sculpted canyon as you climb to the best views of the Little Missouri River. It’s the Park Ranger’s best kept secret for watching sunsets.

3. Buck Hill
Located one mile north of Paddock Creek, Buck Hill is a great vantage point to see wild horses or roaming buffalo. It’s a steep trail, but it’s worth every step.

4. Petrified Forest
Located in the remote northwest corner of the South Unit, this hike takes you through ancient petrified forests and badlands wilderness. The loop includes the North and South Petrified Forest Trails as well as the Maah Daah Hey.

These are just four of the many great hikes TRNP has to offer. If biking is more your style, bicycles are welcome on the paved roads of TRNP, and for the more experienced rider, the Maah Daah Hey trail is an exciting ride. This summer get the family to put down their phones and pick up their feet by coming out to Medora and going on a hike or bike ride through the amazing Badlands.

Oh, here is that video that got everybody excited in the first place!

Medora’s Badlands Trail Run: Six Years and Going Strong

Medora’s Badlands Trail Run: Six Years and Going Strong

If you ever asked Wade Westin, “What’s new in Medora?” you’d be answered with an enthusiastic listing of attractions, events, and local hang-outs that he was bursting to share.  Wade loved Medora and the North Dakota Badlands, and as the Marketing and PR Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, he was constantly brainstorming for fun and unique experiences that Medora could offer.

A combination of Wade’s interest in running and his love of the majestic Badlands led to the idea for a trail run along the Maah Daah Hey Trail near Medora.  Mark Zimmerman, currently the Director of the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department, remembers talking about the possibilities with Wade when traveling together to various sport and tourism shows in the winter months.  At the time, Zimmerman was working as the Outdoor Recreation Specialist for North Dakota Tourism.  He loved the idea of promoting the Maah Daah Hey Trail as a place for not only horseback riding, hiking, and biking, but for running as well.

The Badlands Trail Run starts at the Tjaden Terrace, adjacent to the Burning Hills Amphitheatre in Medora, ND

With the help of Wade, Mark, Medora Foundation staff, friends, and volunteers, the first annual Badlands Trail Run took place six years ago in the fall of 2006.  Zimmerman remembers, “The first one, we maybe weren’t as prepared as we should have been.  By golly, people kept registering and we were very busy handling the crowd.  Once the race started, I think one lady veered off the trail and ran down a cow path instead, but everything turned out all right! By the next year we had things organized to run much smoother, and Wade had a great group of volunteers who knew how it worked; it was really a lot of fun.”

Zimmerman points out that the Badlands Trail Run can be challenging to runners used to flatter surfaces.  He notes that many of the races in Bismarck-Mandan are held on pavement or well-worn trails, and that the terrain and grade of the trail on the Maah Daah Hey is tougher than a typical 5K/10K race in North Dakota.

In the summer of 2007, a road race was added to Medora’s calendar of events.  The “Bully Run”, named after Teddy Roosevelt’s trademark saying, took runners through the streets of Medora and on roads and bike paths on the edge of town.   As word of the races spread, the number of participants in each 5K walk/run and 10K run events grew from 70 to 100 to closer to 150.  Still small enough to be timed with hand timers and to have organizers shout out last-minute instructions without a mic, the races have a small town feel and a friendly atmosphere.

Wade’s co-worker Ann Riippa soon took on many of the administrative and organizational responsibilities of the races in order to help share Wade’s many responsibilities in the marketing department.  A runner as well, Ann felt the races were ideal for runners of all ages and abilities.  “The Medora races are all about enjoying being out in the Badlands and having a fun time. It’s a great place for new runners to come out and try their first race.”   (This blogger gives a review of their experience with the Badlands Trail Run.)  The events have gained a following in the running world, too: the Badlands Trail Run was recently featured in Trail Runners Magazineclick here to read the full 4-page article.

Ann Riippa, Wade Westin, and Mark Zimmerman (l-r) pose in downtown Medora following the 2008 Badlands Trail Run, Wade’s last Medora race before passing away in February 2009.

With Wade’s sudden passing in 2009, family, friends, and co-workers were looking for significant ways to honor his caring and adventurous spirit.  One clear way to do that was for the Medora Foundation to continue hosting race events, an effort still led by Ann Riippa.  The seventh annual Badlands Trail Run is schedule for August 25, 2012.  Runners and walkers receive a sweat-wicking t-shirt and buffet lunch ticket as part of registration fees.  Register ahead of time to ensure a t-shirt will be available for you the day of the race.

See you on the trail!