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Fort Mandan Launches First Day Hike

Posted on 12/18/2015

Washburn, N.D. - The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and North Dakota Parks and Recreation will be hosting a First Day Hike on New Year's Day at Fort Mandan. The hike begins at the Fort Mandan Visitors Center and will wind through the scenic riverside forest to Fort Mandan. Participation is free and open to the public.

First Day Hikes have been gaining rapidly in popularity across the United States. An initiative by America's State Parks, they help Americans start the new year right with a trip to their local state park.

"Our hike will have a unique Fort Mandan twist," says interpretive coordinator Robert Hanna. "Participants will get to experience what surviving winter in 1805 was like by loaning historically accurate capotes, hunting frocks, or bison robes. When they arrive at the fort, there will be a warm fire to greet them." Refreshments will follow. The event is co-sponsored by the Lewis & Clark Fort Mandan Foundation.

The hike will be less than one mile and begins at 3 p.m. on January 1 at the Fort Mandan Visitor Center, 2.5 miles west of Washburn. Participants should come dressed for the temperature and snow conditions, because historic coats will be on a first come, first served basis. If the event must be cancelled due to weather or snow conditions, a notice will be posted at Participation is free. All other North Dakota Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan facilities will be closed for the New Year's holiday.

Cross Ranch State Park will also be hosting a hike earlier the same day, and participants in the Washburn area may be interested in joining both. It meets at the River Peoples Visitor Center at 1 p.m. This is a beginner's geocaching hike with three caches hidden in the park. Hikers with a GPS unit or cell phone app are encouraged to bring it. The program will take 30-45 minutes with refreshments to follow. For information call 701-794-3731. Participants will need to pay the park vehicle entry fee.

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