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Carved out of the northern half of the Dakota Territory and admitted to the Union as the 39th state in 1889, North Dakota has long been known for its rugged beauty and friendly folks. In fact, "Dakota" is derived from the Sioux Indian word for "friend." Famed explorers Lewis and Clark spent more time in North Dakota than in any other state. Here they met the Indian woman who would be their guide. For those wanting to follow in the explorers' footsteps, the state has marked 27 locations of significance to the renowned expedition.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "I would never have been President if it had not been for my ...

Carved out of the northern half of the Dakota Territory and admitted to the Union as the 39th state in 1889, North Dakota has long been known for its rugged beauty and friendly folks. In fact, "Dakota" is derived from the Sioux Indian word for "friend." Famed explorers Lewis and Clark spent more time in North Dakota than in any other state. Here they met the Indian woman who would be their guide. For those wanting to follow in the explorers' footsteps, the state has marked 27 locations of significance to the renowned expedition.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, "I would never have been President if it had not been for my experiences in North Dakota." After spending a great deal of time in the North Dakota Badlands, Roosevelt founded the National Park Service. You can see part of Roosevelt's legacy at the excellent Theodore Roosevelt National Park. With more than 150 wildlife management areas, North Dakota has more wildlife refuges than any other state.

For an unusual treat, visit the tiny town of Rugby, population about 3,000. Said to be the geographic center of North America, Rugby has a fieldstone cairn to mark the spot and a Northern Lights Tower to celebrate the aurora borealis — an atmospheric wonder that displays a colorful glow in the sky in northern regions. Completed in 1999, the 88 1/2-foot-tall tower shimmers with vibrant shades of red, yellow, green, blue and violet when it is lighted by high-intensity beams from below the painted pillars. Learn more about the Northern Lights at an interpretive center adjacent to the tower.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Jackie Finch for Triporati

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