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Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Bison

A bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

We’re blessed with 57 National Parks in America. Some, like
Yellowstone, attract more than 3 million visitors annually. Others like
Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota are far less crowded,
leaving the canyons of the Badlands to the wildlife and the lucky few
who wander in. The North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt
receives only 50,000 to 60,000 visits a year. Heading south from
Watford City, I enter the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National
Park and soon I’m the only car driving along the Little Missouri River
on the 14-mile scenic drive. Within moment I spot a herd of at least 20
bison and pull over.

In Yellowstone, this sight would attract a caravan
of cars, undoubtedly stopping short so drivers can get that National
Geographic shot. Here, I get out my car, linger, laugh, all by my
lonesome. And, yes, feel guilty about divulging this underused National
Park. See the story I wrote on the park for The Boston Globe.

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