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Knife River Indian Villages

A heap of history in North Dakota

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posted October 14, 2017

North Dakota is home to a plethora of attractions for history lovers, ranging from trails to national parks, which can be explored on The North Dakota Heritage and Heroes Tour.

“North Dakota is where you can retrace the footsteps of Lewis, Clark, Sakakawea, Sitting Bull, Theodore Roosevelt, Sheheke and George Custer,” says Deanne Cunningham, group travel marketing manager with North Dakota Tourism Division.

Native dancers at Earthlodge Village
Dancers at Knife River Indian Villages
(Photo by

If travelers choose to begin the tour in the Bismarck-Mandan area, they can make a stop at Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park and see, along the river, the earth lodges of a village that was home to a thriving Mandan Indian population in the mid-1600s. They can tour the home of George and Libbie Custer; it was from there the general and his 7th Cavalry rode into the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Found in Washburn are the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center; Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, the ruins of an ancient Indian village; and a museum preserving the heritage of the Plains Indians.

Also included on the tour is Lake Sakakawea, the largest lake in North Dakota, named from the young Native American woman who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their journey.

For more information on the tour and additional North Dakota sites, contact Cunningham or visit

Top photo: Knife River Indian Villages earthlodge
Photo by North Dakota Tourism