Bison Bash at Cross Ranch State Park

HENSLER – The third annual Bison Bash will be held this Saturday and Sunday at Cross Ranch State Park.

North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department has collaborated with The Nature Conservancy of North Dakota to bring visitors a celebration for America’s national mammal. This weekend will include a scavenger hunt, amphitheater program, craft station, hikes, door prizes, and a bison stampede fun run.

On Friday there will be a bison orientation at 7:30 p.m. at the amphitheater to prepare visitors for the Saturday hikes at Cross Ranch Nature Preserve.

On Saturday there will be guided hikes offered by TNC staff at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Cross Ranch Nature Preserve, which houses over 300 bison. They will explain the history of the preserve and provide some fun facts about the bison that roam there. For these hikes, people should meet at Cross Ranch Nature Preserve parking lot located about one-fourth mile from the park on the dirt road leading to Highway 200. There will be booklets that kids can fill out to become a “Junior Bison Wrangler.” The day will end with a Kids’ Fun Run at the amphitheater at 7:30 p.m., followed by a raffle with door prizes.

On Sunday morning at 9 a.m. there will be three different trail runs to choose from including a 10-mile backcountry run, 5.7-mile stampede run, and 2.4-mile fun run/walk. Register in the River Peoples Visitor Center starting at 8 a.m. The first 50 people who complete the run will receive a free limited edition T-shirt.

The events throughout Bison Bash are free of charge in accordance with a daily or annual pass. Events are open to all ages. Cross Ranch State Park and the Nature Preserve are located 12 miles southeast of Hensler via paved roads, or six miles by gravel. For paved access roads follow the brown park directional signs located on Highway 25.