.....Where to go! What to see!
Will your RV fit in the parking lot? Is it accessible for wheelchair users?..... ----------------Please click on photos for a larger, clearer view. I'm not sure why they are so blurry----------------
The six storage containers of the G. Heileman Brewery were first planted to resemble beer cans in the late 1960s. The plant is now owned by City Brewing Company which manufactures and packages beer, tea, soft drinks and other beverages. The tanks are painted with the La Crosse Lager label. Gambrinus, "King of Beer," raises his goblet in a salute from his pedestal on the opposite side of the street.
The sidewalks and curb cuts are in good condition and it’s also easy to see the cans without leaving your vehicle.
Herman Rusch retired from farming in 1952, rented the Prairie Moon Dancehall, and filled it with his growing collection of antiques and oddities to create a roadside museum. After he bought the property in 1958 he decorated the grounds with more than forty concrete and stone sculptures. Most of the statues were made by Rusch himself but he did buy several from another folk artist. Everything in the museum was sold in 1979 and in 1992 the property was purchased by the Kohler Foundation who restored and repaired the artwork.
Also on the site is a flower garden surrounding a collection of small buildings and figures of animals and people created by Fred Schlosstein, another Wisconsin folk artist. Columns of concrete, made by John and Bertha Mehringer, and imbedded with glass and pottery shards, stand near the entrance.
The ground is uneven and lumpy making rolling around very difficult.
It seems like every historic account of life on the prairies mentions these birds but we’ve never seen one. In the 1800s they numbered in the millions with a range from the Canadian prairies to the Texas coast. Their population, which has been decimated by hunting and habitat loss, is now around 500,000.
The statue is located in a little park at exit 38 of I-94. A sidewalk goes to the base of the statue and it can also be viewed from your vehicle.
The parking lot is large enough for RVs but there’s not a lot of room to turn around. Large RVs can be parked along the road or at the nearby truck stop. Chicken46.48108, -96.28146
The buffalo, which was made of concrete in 1958 by a local art instructor, is 26’ tall and weighs 60 tons. Quite an undertaking!
The dead-end road to the buffalo is lined with relocated and specially constructed buildings to form a frontier village. Many buildings are sponsored by a local group or Individual and the exhibit presentation is uneven.
The path to the big buffalo is paved and accessible. The boardwalks that run along the fronts of the buildings have ramps but only in a few places so backtracking is necessary. Many of the buildings have high thresholds. Access to the village would be difficult without assistance.
The North Dakota Buffalo Foundation received five buffalo from Theodore Roosevelt National Park in 1991. The small herd grazes in the valley below the museum and can be seen from the museum parking lot and I-94.
The museum is small. The exhibits tell the history of the buffalo with descriptions of the huge herds that roamed across the US before European settlement and the wide scale hunting that decimated the population and led to efforts to save them from extinction. Native American lifestyles and examples of native artwork are also covered.
135 acres of land on the northern shore of Pipestem Lake provide many opportunities for camping and picnicking. Amenities include picnic shelters, vault toilets, fire rings, and a dump station. With the exception of six long gravel parking pads designed for horse trailers and a few random paved pads, the sites are not marked so there are a variety of camping choices – on the rocky shoreline, on the grassy plain or under the trees.
Starting the in mid 1800s emigrants from the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden came to the US is search of good land to farm. So many settled in North Dakota that today they make up 38% of the state’s population. This small park, established in 1990, celebrates the heritage of each country with replica buildings and statues.
Most of the park is accessible but visitors in wheelchairs may need assistance on some of the hills. The Sigdal House and the stabbur are not accessible due to steps. The visitor center which is mainly a gift shop has a sidewalk that slopes up and a door that opens out making entering awkward.
Three buildings hold WWII military airplanes, small civilian planes, displays on North Dakota’s early aviation years and military aviation with a few fire engines and other vehicles thrown in the mix. Follow the sidewalk to the third building. We did not realize that it was opened and almost missed it. All of the planes can be flown and are expertly restored.
One of the planes in the third building and one in the outside display area have been painted with stripes. A few days before the D-Day invasion most of the Allied planes were temporarily striped to avoid confusion with enemy planes - a little tidbit of trivia that was new to us.
The buildings are accessible but assistance may be needed due to heavy doors and high lips at the entrances. A small exhibit area that overlooks the planes in the second building is not accessible due to stairs and no elevator.
Any RV will fit in the larger parking lot. Park on the far west edge to leave room for planes to exit the hanger. This is a Harvest Hosts site so members may stay overnight. Museum48.27144, -101.29131
A pretty little city park right by the lake. The campsites are a little strange and the rules are rigid but otherwise a nice place to camp. We camped along the road next to a grassy island where three or four electric boxes are lined up. Three more sites have concrete pads in the middle of a long pull-through driveway. Some have more than one electric box so maybe they’re meant to be shared?
The park doesn’t offer much in the way of amenities – no fire rings or tables at the sites. There are restrooms. The train tracks are very close but the noise did not disturb our sleep.
I did not check the accessibility but it looks rather limited because the concrete pads are narrow. Park48.3393, -103.17182