Best Hikes Ever: Prairie Trail, ND

Weave around grassy meadows and mirror lakes.
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Weave around grassy meadows and mirror lakes.

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Remember in 2001, when the state tried to scrub “North” from its moniker? Turns out that very geographic isolation (and the flatness) has kept our trail scouts at bay, too. Until now. After all, for backpackers, remote and distant are the goal. Head 20 miles north of Stanley to the Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, smack in the center of the state’s glacier-graded wetlands, an area that produces more ducks than any other spot in the Lower 48. Take in sweeping prairie vistas and watch coyotes materialize out of the tall grass on the easy, 7.5-mile Prairie Trail. Open May to September.

Map USGS quad Lostwood Lakes

Contact (701) 848-2722; fws.gov/lostwood