This comprehensive guide provides general logistical information for park visitors plus interpretive information about Theodore Roosevelt National Park and its features, from its famous painted canyons to its petrified forests. Information on driving tours, suggested hikes, stories and legends about the life of Theodore Roosevelt, and nearby cultural and recreational opportunities round out this guidebook.
About the Author
Levi Novey is a conservation professional who has worked as a park ranger for six national parks, including Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and as a researcher for five others.
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Explore! Theodore Roosevelt National ParkA Guide to Exploring the Roads, Trails, River, and Canyons
By Novey, Levi
FalconCopyright © 2007 Novey, Levi
All right reserved.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park has all of the right ingredients to make it one of the United States’ future “destination” parks: a place not just on the way to somewhere else, but a place where people plan to end up. Divided into three units that total over 70,000 acres, the scenic landscapes of the park are home to an abundant variety of wildlife including bison, wild horses, prairie dogs, elk, coyotes, pronghorn, badgers, mountain lions, and golden eagles. Roads within the South and North units of the park provide visitors with a means to get an excellent overview of the park’s majesty. Of all the parks I have visited and worked in, I would rank this park second—only to Yellowstone—in the amount of wildlife that can be easily viewed (although it is important to also mention that I have never been to Alaska’s parks: where animals are abundant).
Ample recreation opportunities abound in the park and in nearby areas. These activities range from auto touring, hiking, camping, horseback riding, biking, canoeing, and fishing in the warmer months, to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter. Almost 30,000 acres of the park are designated wilderness, making it an appealing destination for those seeking fantastic hikes and solitude-- one can hike anywhere he or she chooses in the park.
Asfor the ecological integrity, management, and gateway communities of the park, in a 2005 National Geographic Traveler survey, three hundred park and conservation experts ranked Theodore Roosevelt National Park as tied for eighth among fifty Canadian and U.S. National Parks. This survey was based upon a stewardship index that used a wide array of rating factors. The stunning scenery, wildlife, history, cultural resources, and recreation opportunities that Theodore Roosevelt National Park possesses make it one of the premier parks that has yet to be discovered by the masses. Will you take the opportunity to explore it? Nestled within the western reaches of North Dakota, in a place sometimes known as “the badlands,” a lesser-known national park awaits the lucky visitor. While many people arrive to this place not knowing much about it, the adventures, mysteries, stories, and beauty of Theodore Roosevelt National Park will often turn even the shortest of visits into one of a kind journeys. Will you make the journey?
Why was the park named after Theodore Roosevelt?
We have Theodore Roosevelt to thank for many of the wonderful parks, forests, and special places that we have in the United States today. His adventures and experiences in the badlands served as a strong force, if not the primary catalyst in making him want to preserve nature and historical sites within the U.S. This quest was not only a personal one, but also one that Roosevelt thought was in the best interest of Americans. Today, the man sometimes known as the “conservation president” has earned the distinction of being the only U.S. President to have a national park named after him.
Appropriately enough, the place where Roosevelt had some of his formative experiences as a conservationist awaits you. For people who choose to devote some of their time and interest, a wealth of discoveries and magic rests within Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s boundaries.
Excerpted from Explore! Theodore Roosevelt National Park by Novey, Levi Copyright © 2007 by Novey, Levi. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
(1) Introduction: One-of-a-Kind Journeys (2) Basic Park Information (3) Theodore RooseveltMan of Action (4) Medora: Gateway Community to the South Unit (5) Touring the South Unit: Dog Towns, Painted Canyons, and Petrified Forests (6) Touring the North Unit: Cannonballs, An Oxbow, and Solitude (7) Camping, Lodging, and Services Near the North Unit (8) Visiting the Elkhorn Ranch (9) Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick: A Guide to Enjoying the Park’s Backcountry (10) Other Recreation Possibilities in the Park (11) Other National Park Service Sites in North Dakota (12) Nearby Excursions and Recreation Opportunities (13) You and the Future of Theodore Roosevelt National Park (14) Appendix A: Additional Resources (15) Appendix B: National Forests, Monuments, Preserves, and Parks Designated by Theodore Roosevelt (16) Appendix C: How Much Do You Know About Theodore Roosevelt National Park? (17) Appendix D: Park Wildlife (18) Appendix E: List of Common Park Plants (19) Index