Posts tagged badlands

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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Third Annual Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival to Be Held at Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Historic Medora

Third Annual Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival to Be Held at Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Historic Medora

Astronomy Ranger at TRNP

MEDORA, ND: Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Historic Medora invite curious minds of all ages to spend an early autumn weekend exploring our wondrous universe. Park rangers, astronomers, and space enthusiasts of all types will gather for the Third Annual Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival Friday, September 11 through Sunday, September 13.

This year’s special guest speakers will touch on a wide variety of topics. Dr. Craig Howe, a Lakota scholar and enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe will speak on Friday evening about winter counts and how they record Lakota history. On Saturday evening, explore our connections with the universe with Dave Weinrich, retired planetarium coordinator at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Other speakers include Park Ranger-Astronomers Erik Jensen, Kate and Jeff Zylland.

“People have been studying the night skies for millennia,” said Chief of Interpretation Eileen Andes. “Dakota Nights celebrates the beauty and fragility of this awe-inspiring resource and makes it accessible and fun for people of all ages. You don’t have to be an astronomy expert; the festival has something for everyone.”

Daytime activities include model rocket building and launching, a “build your own telescope” workshop, “sun gazing,” solar system hikes, family astronomy activities, and presentations in Dickinson State University’s Discovery Dome. Evening events will reveal the mysteries of the universe while star gazing in a field of more than a dozen telescopes manned by astronomers and park rangers.

The Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival is a partnership between Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Historic Medora. “Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival would not be possible without our partners and the many volunteers who join us in celebrating the night sky,” said Andes. Partners include Medora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Medora Chamber of Commerce, Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association, Friends of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Dickinson State University, Chateau De Mores State Historic Site, North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame, Badlands Ministries, and Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.

A complete listing of all activities and an event map are available on the park’s website at www.nsp.gov/thro.

Contact:
Eileen Andes
eileen_andes@nps.gov
701-623-4466

Theodore Roosevelt National Park
P.O. Box 7
Medora, ND 58645
701-623-4466
www.nps.gov/thro
www.nps.gov

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA™
The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Ranked as one of America’s Ten Best Presidential Attractions

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Ranked as one of America’s Ten Best Presidential Attractions

The marvelous Theodore Roosevelt National Park has finished 5th in Travel Channel’s competition for “Best Presidential Attractions”. With unparalleled beauty, we can see why it ranks so high.
North_Dakota_TR_National_Park Scenic_GBlank

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!

The Delicious Pitchfork Steak Fondue

The Delicious Pitchfork Steak Fondue

There are many exceptional dining experiences in Medora!  The most unique is the Pitchfork Steak Fondue. Where else can you savor a fondued 12 oz. rib-eye steak as you overlook the Badlands from atop a bluff at the Tjaden Terrace. We might be a little bias but Beth Schatz Kaylor who writes the fabulous blog Rhubarb and Venison agrees, the Pitchfork Fondue and the Medora Musical make for a wonderful evening!  Here are a few snippets from her recent post about the Pitchfork Fondue and Medora Musical.

“Deep fried steak. That’s supposed to be the star attraction at the Pitchfork Fondue in Medora, ND, but I’ve gotta tell you, although the steak is great, the view from the Pitchfork Fondue dining area is simply spectacular. Bring your camera.

But back to the food. As any visitor knows, when you go to Medora, you have to make a night out of 1) the Pitchfork Fondue, followed by 2) the Medora Musical. My carnivore husband LOVES the Pitchfork Fondue. As someone who treads a little heavier in vegetables than meat, even I admit that this is one tasty steak. Throw a steak in a pot of boiling hot oil and it sears immediately, creating a juicy cut with a crispy crust. As a crust fanatic, I completely approve of a crusty steak. A country band plays as diners load up their metal lunch trays (yay for reusable trays!) with coleslaw, baked beans, baked potatoes, raw veggies and Texas toast. The sides aren’t particularly interesting – they all play second fiddle to the meaty entree. “

 

You can read Beth Schatz Kaylor’s  full post Pitchfork Fondue in Medora, ND here!

90 Minutes in TR National Park

90 Minutes in TR National Park

July is almost over, and most of us are busy packing as much life and enjoyment as possible into the remaining weeks of summer.  It had been a while since I had been through the Theodore Roosevelt National Park; in fact, it had been much too long.  I didn’t want to miss the chance to enjoy the park in its summer glory.  Even though I only had about an hour and a half to spend there around other items on my schedule, I decided to go for a quick drive through the loop.

Grasses wave and clouds swirl on a July afternoon in TR National Park.

I have always felt that TRNP is one of the “best kept secrets” of the national park system.  Beautiful, clean, and never crowded, it’s the perfect afternoon drive if you want to clear your mind and fill up your senses. The 36-mile paved loop road winds lazily around hills and past creek beds, under tree branches, sometimes with only a handful of other cars in sight.

Although early mornings and evenings are the best time to try to catch a glimpse of the park wildlife during the heat of summer, I was hoping I’d luck out and stumble across some animals in the afternoon sun.  Prairie dogs are a given – you will inevitably spot those little guys popping out of their ground holes, sitting up to assess your vehicle, barking out a greeting to a neighboring dog, and just as quickly darting back down inside.

Pathway along Wind Canyon in TR National Park.

After enjoying the prairie dog town, I was taken in by colors. Mid-summer is the time of year when grasses start to dry out and add shades of light greens, yellows, and browns to the never-changing scoria reds and cedar greens of the badlands. The view from Wind Canyon was, as always, breathtaking, with occasional clouds threatening sprinkles and adding grays and navies to the summer blue sky.

 

 

 

 

Some buffalo kick up a little dust in TR National Park.

Some wild horses posed on the horizon from a distance, but not close enough to get a good look. Then I turned a corner around a butte, and was greeted by a buffalo herd roadblock!  Mothers with their calves grazed on the grass or rested on their sides.  A couple of the furry beasts got in a scuffle and kicked up a little dust in their wake while the others ignored their horseplay.

 

A wild horse gets frisky in TR National Park.

The oddball in the herd was a lone wild horse, who was busy doing some heel-kicking on its own!

The drive was over before I knew it, but the vivid landscape and surprising wildlife left me wanting more time in the park. Resolved to make it a more regular stop on my summer calendar, I challenge you to do the same as you venture to Medora!

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Golf entertainer Joey O to perform in Medora July 13-28, 2012

NEWS
July 3, 2012

For more information contact:
Dylan Edwards
Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation
dedwards@medora.com
800-633-6721 ext. 8812 

Golf entertainer Joey O to perform in Medora July 13-28

Medora, N.D. – Acrobat golf comedian Joey O will perform nightly in Medora July 13-28. His performances will start at 7 p.m. MST at the Tjaden Terrace during the Pitchfork Steak Fondue. Cost is free, and performances are open to all.

An acrobat with masterful motor skills and an entertainer with motivating words of encouragement and self-belief, Joey O will amaze and inspire audiences young and old. For more than two decades, this motor-skill genius has made people smile and laugh worldwide, performing with Bob Hope at the Bob Hope Classic to the Hawaiian Open and as far away as the Hiroshima Open in Japan, as well as appearing with Tiger Woods on the Tonight Show.

“Joey O will entertain and inspire audiences with his fantastic golf acrobatic skills and motivational messages,” said Randy Hatzenbuhler, president of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. “We hope the golfers in the crowd will be moved to practice their game at the nearby Bully Pulpit Golf Course.”

More information about Joey O and his performances at Medora can be found at: www.joeyogolf.com and www.medora.com/events/?Joey-O-performs-at-the-Tjaden-Terrace.

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Medora is located at the entrance to the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. As North Dakota’s #1 vacation destination, Medora offers family entertainment in an Old West atmosphere.

For more information about Medora and the Medora Musical, visit: www.medora.com. For more information about Theodore Roosevelt National Park: www.nps.gov/thro/index.htm

July in Medora!

July in Medora!

July in Medora, ND

The month of July marks the middle of the summer. If you haven’t made it out to Medora yet, now is a great time! If you already have, come visit us again as there is so much more to do and see! You deserve it! Check out what’s coming up in July:

Medora Musical Variety Act #2 – George Casey, July 1 – July 28

George CaseyThe Medora Musical performs nightly through September 8 this year and we’re quickly approaching the opening night of Variety Act #2 of 4. Don’t miss BreakSk8’s final performance on June 30. Back by popular demand, George Casey returns to the Medora Musical. He was born in a remote seaside village on Ireland’s west coast that is legendary for its storytelling. Growing up in a large family, he saw humor everywhere and honed his skills as a comic at the expense of his brothers and sisters. In 1970, George immigrated to the U.S., earned his citizenship and now calls Branson, Mo., home. Some of the acts George has opened for and toured with include Rosemary Clooney, The Osmond Brothers, Ray Price, Three Dog Night, Brooklyn Bridge, Donald O’Connor and Bobby Vinton. He has performed at Caesar’s Palace, The Sahara, and The Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas; and for corporations including McDonald’s, Hasbro, AT&T, Lucent Technology and Panasonic.

Family Fun Center – New in 2012!

Family Fun Center SlideSummer is heating up making it the perfect time to check out the Medora Family Fun Center, brand new in 2012. The Family Fun Center is one of many new attractions this summer as a result of feedback from our many patrons. The Family Fun Center features a rock climbing wall, dual bungee jumpers, and is crowned by “the world’s largest inflatable water slide!” The Family Fun Center is exciting entertainment for the entire family… that includes you, parents! Let that child inside come out and play! We promise not to tell! Admission to the Family Fun Center a very reasonable $8/person for an unlimited two-day pass.

Independence Day 2012 – July 1 & 4

American Flags at the 2012 Medora MusicalIndependence Day is a special time of celebration for many and Medora is no exception! Since July 4th is on a Wednesday, we’re celebrating twice! Fun, family parades held at 3:30 p.m. MDT through the streets of downtown Medora on July 1 and 4. Out-of-town entries are welcome! After the patriotic Medora Musical on July 4th the crowd makes their way downtown to enjoy a spectacular fireworks performance fired from the buttes on the east end of town.

Medora’s Veteran’s Day – July 8

All Veterans and their families are invited to a special day in Medora as we honor their service to our Country. Veterans will receive a FREE Medora Musical ticket and a FREE ticket to the “Adolph Burkhardt Concert.”  Tickets to the famous Pitchfork Steak Fondue, along with ALL tickets for spouses and family members must be purchased in advance.

We are requesting all veterans to wear their service caps to honor their branch of service. Please call 1-800-Medora-1 in advance to make reservations.  A block of rooms is set aside for Veterans Day at the Badlands Motel and the Bunkhouse Motel.  Just ask for the Veteran’s block when calling for reservations.  If you make reservations for the Badlands Motel, the Bunkhouse, or the Rough Riders Hotel.

Fossil Dig – July 23 – 29

Woman excavating a fossil in Medora.60-million-year-old fossil site containing crocodile, champsosaur (crocodile-like animal), turtle, fish, and other fossils is being excavated in the beautiful and rugged badlands near Medora, North Dakota. The North Dakota Geological Survey and Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation will co-sponsor a scientific, professionally conducted, fossil excavation at that site in July 2012. Public participation is invited; open to anyone 12 years or older. There will be three Family Dig days available, from July 27 – 29th (open to anyone 6 years or older, with adult supervision).

Fossil in plaster awaiting transport.Package is $145 per day per person and includes:

  • Dig
  • Breakfast
  • Sack lunch
  • Transportation between Medora and dig site
  • Bottled water
  • Souvenir with 2012 logo

Enjoy outdoor adventure in the North Dakota Badlands.  Reserve lodging, Medora Musical tickets, Pitchfork Steak Fondue tickets & more.  Call 1-800-Medora-1.

*Preregistration is required. Payment is due at time of registration. Limited to 8 people per day. Participants ages 12-17 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Registration ends July 1. Moderate hiking required. Rain or shine.

The O-Mazing Joey O! July 13 – July 28

This trick golfer and inspiration speaker will be performing at the Tjaden Terrace during the Pitchfork Steak Fondue starting at 7 p.m. MDT.

Book your trip today!

For tickets and lodging reservations or more information call 1-800-Medora-1

See you in Medora!

Medora’s early July events offer a patriotic salute

Medora’s early July events offer a patriotic salute

NEWS
June 19, 2012

For more information contact:
Suzanne Wentz
Marketing Director
Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation
SuzanneW@medora.com
Office: 701-223-4800
Cell: 701-471-3335

Medora’s early July events offer a patriotic salute

Medora, N.D. – Two events in early July offer a patriotic salute to our country’s independence and those who have fought to maintain our freedom.

July 1 and 4

Independence Day Celebration

Celebrate the Fourth of July Medora style. Line up along Medora’s Main Street to watch the Independence Day parades, starting at 3:30 p.m. daily July 1 and 4. Following the Medora Musical performance on July 1 and 4, fireworks will light up the sky with an amazing display of vibrant colors, patterns and presentations. The professional fireworks show is conducted by RES Specialty Pyrotechnics, an international award-winning pyrotechnics company.

July 8

19th annual Veterans Day in Medora

All veterans and their families are invited to a special day in Medora to honor their service to our country. As a token of appreciation, all veterans will receive a free ticket to the Medora Musical and the Adolph Burkhardt Country Western Concert. The day-long recognition event features activities like an ice cream social, flag retiring ceremony and a special presentation before the nightly performance of the Medora Musical. Veterans are asked to wear their service caps to honor their branch of service.

More information about both events can be found at www.medora.com.

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Medora is located at the entrance to the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. As North Dakota’s #1 vacation destination, Medora offers family entertainment in an Old West atmosphere.

For more information about Medora, visit: www.medora.com. For more information about Theodore Roosevelt National Park: www.nps.gov/thro/index.htm