Theodore Roosevelt National Park

When Theodore Roosevelt came to Dakota Territory to hunt bison in 1883, he was a skinny, young, spectacled dude from New York. He could not have imagined how his adventure in this remote and unfamiliar place would forever alter the course of the nation. The rugged landscape and strenuous life that TR experienced here would help shape a conservation policy that we still benefit from today.

For starters, drive through the south unit of the park on the 36-mile scenic loop through the buttes and Badlands. The winding drive features striking overlooks with unbelievable views, trailheads for 12 different hiking trails ( more on those below ), interpretive signs about the Park’s history and natural wonders, and real prairie dog towns – plus, you might even get a close up with a buffalo!

Former President Theodore Roosevelt was big on conservation, and 100 years ago his efforts to preserve some of the nation's natural beauty for all time led to the formation of the National Park Service. See what Roosevelt made all of the fuss about by visiting Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The park within the North Dakota Badlands consists of the North, South and Elkhorn Ranch units. In fact, make time to visit all of the state's national historic sites: 

The small Badlands town of Medora is the gateway to the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. But it is more than that; an Old West cowtown with horseback rides, modern museums, the state-of-the-art Burning Hills Amphitheatre, luxury lodging and primitive camping.

Wiki info

Roosevelt was born a sickly child with debilitating asthma, but he successfully overcame his physical health problems by embracing a strenuous lifestyle. He integrated his exuberant personality, vast range of interests, and world-famous achievements into a "cowboy" persona defined by robust masculinity. Home-schooled, he began a lifelong naturalist avocation before attending Harvard College. His book, The Naval War of 1812 (1882), established his reputation as both a learned historian and as a popular writer. Upon entering politics, he became the leader of the reform faction of Republicans in New York's state legislature. Following the near-simultaneous deaths of his wife and mother, he escaped to a cattle ranch in the Dakotas. Roosevelt served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President William McKinley, but resigned from that post to lead the Rough Riders during the Spanish–American War. Returning a war hero, he was elected Governor of New York in 1898. After the death of Vice President Garret Hobart, the New York state party leadership convinced McKinley to accept Roosevelt as his running mate in the 1900 election, moving Roosevelt to the prestigious but powerless role of vice president. Roosevelt campaigned vigorously and the McKinley-Roosevelt ticket won a landslide victory based on a platform of peace, prosperity, and conservatism.

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