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Nine Wilderness Hero Hikes

Nine hikes as big as the hearts of their namesake wilderness visionaries.

by: Jeff Rennicke

Theodore Roosevelt Wilderness, North Dakota

Teddy Roosevelt was a man as complex as the landscape of hoodoos, buttes, and windswept plains that now make up the national park named in his honor. Hunter, conservationist, adventurer, author, soldier, father, Roosevelt took much of his philosophy of nature from his days spent in the Dakota badlands as a buffalo hunter and cattle rancher. As U.S. president, he set aside nearly 230 million acres of public land including national wildlife refuges, national forests, and national parks. In 1948, this stretch of badlands was designated a national park in his honor. Today, 19,410 acres of the northern unit and 10,510 acres of the southern unit are designated as wilderness.

On the trail: The longest trail in the park is the 16-mile Achenbach Trail in the North Unit. But don't let the short mileage fool you. This park is well-suited to off-trail hiking with its wide-open horizons. You'll need to know how to navigate in wild country, carry or find water, and since the Little Missouri River flows through both units, you may have to wade a bit.

Contact: Theodore Roosevelt National Park, P.O. Box 7, Medora, ND 58645; (701) 623-4466.

Trail Guide: The Theodore Roosevelt National Park Map lists trail options and gives short descriptions.

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