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Learn wilderness survival like Lewis & Clark at Fort Mandan's Explorer Days

Posted on 5/26/2016

WASHBURN - On the weekend of June 4-5, Explorer Days will bring the Missouri River Muzzleloaders' annual competition shoot, the Prairie Plen Air Artists, and the first historic encampment in several years at Fort Mandan near Washburn. The event runs both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday features the Missouri River Muzzleloaders' annual competition shoot, consisting of a wide variety of early 19th-century style flintlocks and percussion guns in action. Spectators are invited to watch and learn more about these guns from Muzzleloader members. Meanwhile the Prairie Plen Air Artists will be capturing the scenery all over the grounds from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The resulting artworks will be offered for sale in an exhibit at the Fort Mandan Visitors Center from July 9 through Oct. 31.

On Sunday, learn wilderness skills like the ultimate wilderness survivors, Lewis and Clark. Hourly, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., expert-led sessions will offer participants the chance to pick up skills like identifying edible wild plants, tracking game, fire-starting with flint and steel, casting musket balls, and many more. Some sessions are limited by age. Lakota cultural expert and tribal member Kevin Locke will offer sessions on Plains Indian Sign Language and basic Lakota.

Admission is $7.50 for adults, $5 for adults with a North Dakota Parks and Recreation vehicle pass, and free for members of the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation. All students receive free admission, as well, thanks to a grant from the MDU Resources Foundation.

For more information, contact Robert Hanna, Interpretive Coordinator, at (701) 462-8535 or

The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is located 38 miles north of Bismarck at the intersection of US 83 and ND 200A in Washburn. Fort Mandan is 2.5 miles west of the Interpretive Center on County Road 17.

This event is sponsored by the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation.

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