Touring the Byway
108 Miles | 4 Days/ 3 Nights | Gateway City: Bismarck/Mandan, North Dakota
This leisurely route takes you through pastoral pastures, gentle countryside vistas and through the towns of Mandan, Almont, New Salem, Glen Ullin, Hebron, Richardton and the Schnell Recreation Area, a 2,000-acre nature preserve.
We recommend starting your journey in Bismarck, to explore the intriguing heritage of North Dakota at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum, the Former Governor’s Mansion State Historic Site, Camp Hancock and Fort Abraham Lincoln with General Custer’s home, all of which introduce you to life at the turn of the 20th Century.
View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, which is complete with dining, shopping, and lodging recommendations!
Housing North Dakota Governors between 1893 and 1960, this beautiful 1884 Victorian was originally built for a prominent businessman named Asa Fisher. The state purchased the home for $5,000 in 1893. It has witnessed many interesting residents including Governor Frank Briggs’ butler Tom who thought the governor who died in the house still haunted the property and refused to sleep there alone. After the last governor moved out of the house in 1960, the property housed the North Dakota Psychiatric Clinic, and administrative offices of the State Health Department. Extensive research and restoration has been completed on the home to restore it to the 1893 appearance, including samples of wallpaper exposed to illustrate changes in style from the Victorian era to today.
Before leaving the Bismarck area, Buckstop Junction is a must see. In order to assemble the best reflection of the late 1800s and early 1900s in North Dakota, the Missouri Valley Historic Society relocated a collection of more than 40 buildings to the 20-acre site, all of which date between 1875-1935. You can tour the 1885 Sterling Railroad Depot, the 1914 Lewis Hotel, the 1916 Bethel Lutheran Church, the 1910 Andrew Miler Farm, the 1907 Foley home and dozens of other buildings from the period.
One of the more unique locations in North Dakota, the Assumption Abbey, with twin towers, a church and a cemetery was built by Benedictine monks in 1906. The Romanesque style building in the form of a cross was enhanced with 23 stained glass windows, the 19 upper round windows have Christian symbols, and 24 painted medallions feature apostles and saints. Silence prevails after Compline in the evening until work begins in the morning. St. Mary’s cemetery adjacent to the abbey, has mosaic headstones with beautiful pieces of quartz, granite and feldspar favored by the Russian German immigrants. You will be met by a joyful monk in the Visitor’s Center. Take a self-guided tour to learn about monastic life, the history of the Abbey and the famous wine made by the Benedictines.
The 12-acre campus of the Dickinson Museum Center hosts four complimentary parts that include the Badlands Dinosaur Museum, with the largest collection of dinosaur fossils on display in North Dakota. The collection includes a complete Triceratops skull, six full dinosaur skeletons, hundreds of fossils, and a colorful mineral collection. You can watch the paleontologists at work in the fossil lab preparing recently discovered fossils for display. The Joachim Regional Museum celebrates Dickinson’s heritage. Prairie Outpost Park features historic and ethnic structures that tell the story of southwest North Dakota. Pioneer Machinery Hall holds a marvelous collection of historic agricultural implements.
The first Ukrainian immigrants escaping Protestant persecutions in Czarist Russia, came to North Dakota in 1867, attracted by the ability to own land Homestead Act to be able to own land.
The Cultural Institute features folk art, cultural exhibits, religious displays, and a research library, plus showcasing beautiful hand-crafted “Psyanky” Eggs, each one individually created with themes and stories. Embroidered cloths adorn the walls next to the heritage paintings of the early settlers. The museum’s Varenyky, better known as “Cheese Buttons” are distributed in stores across the upper Midwest. Traditional Lenten meals and summer events feature the history and “Stepovi Dity,” Ukrainian dancers in colorful costumes.