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Sheyenne River in North Dakota - Weekend Trip Report

by  olgriz

A self-supported trip created by olgriz

Trip Overview

Last weekend (July 27, 28) we paddled a section of the Sheyenne River north of Ft Ransom State Park. We checked out the park through the internet and via telephone the week before and found that the park rented canoes and kayaks and provided a shuttle service. They recommended one of two trips. The first, they said would be an over nighter and the second would take between 2 and 2 1/2 hours. We opted for the shorter trip. Even at this time of year the river was quite high and the current was strong. Maybe because of this it took us less than 2 hours to paddle the entire distance.

The river itself was very clean, i.e. no manmade trash along the banks or floating in the water. We saw numerous birds of different types and one mammal that, due to the bushes along the bank, we couldn't identify.

About halfway through the paddle, we paddled under an old suspension walking bridge that was in disrepair. Someone told us it was damaged due to the spring flooding.

The weather was beautiful with the temps only in the 70s and a slight cooling breeze blowing. Even though the trip was shorter than we expected it was unbelievably peaceful and quiet; a great plus for a relaxing weekend.

We spent two nights at a campground on the edge of the town of Ft Ransom. There is also a campground in the state park. The town of Ft Ransom is worth seeing itself. It's very small but exceptionally neat and clean and, for an older small town, everything is kept up.

Overall this was a fantastic trip. The people were friendly and the scenery was great. If the water stays high, which all indications are that it will, this would be a great river trip later in the fall when the trees start to turn colors.


Super 8 in Lisbon, but camping is available at Ft Ransom State Park, in the town of Ft Ransom and at numerous other places in the area.


$5 fee for Ransom State Park
Additional charge for shuttle and rental if you do not bring your own canoe/kayak.

Most camping in the area is around $20.00 per night for modern.


Drive south of Valley City on HWY 21. Turn onto the Sheyenne River National Scenic Byway (watch for signs). This takes you right to the park and to the town of Ft Ransom.

Trip Details

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location