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Eight Rivers And Rollercoasters You Need To See

Special thanks to North Dakota Tourism, South Dakota Tourism, Explore Minnesota and Tourism Winnipeg for the photos featured within.

Take a break from your 9 to 5 and escape on your own weekend getaway.

Do you need to get out of Fargo for a few days? If so, there are several places within driving distance of the Fargo-Moorhead area you can go. Whether it is North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota or even Canada, there is a place or event for everyone to escape to for a weekend. Jump out of the rat race and journey across state (or country) lines as we profile the best weekend getaway spots from A to Z! Well, what are you waiting for?

Check back later this month to see the rest of the places mentioned in our A to Z Adventure Guide! So far we’ve featured A-CD-EF-GH-JK-LMN-PQ-S and T.

#1 Upstream (or downstream) Canoeing: Missouri River

The biggest and longest body of water in the state of North Dakota is also a prime space for canoeing. A common practice by canoeing aficionados is beginning your journey in Bismarck then canoeing upstream to nearby Washburn which is roughly 40 miles away. From there you can canoe back downstream to Bismarck.

#2 Upstream (or downstream) Canoeing: Lake Sakakawea

This lake lies only about 50 miles from Bismarck and is the largest man-made lake in the state. It is also the third largest lake of its kind in the nation. Thanks to its easygoing current, most people can canoe around the lake all day long while taking in the fabulous scenery around them.

#3 Upstream (or downstream) Canoeing: Lake Superior Water Trail

An incredibly scenic tour of Northeastern Minnesota awaits you on the Lake Superior Water Trail. Starting near Duluth, the trail takes you all the way to Minnesota's Northeast point. You will pass through Two Harbors and Grand Marais along the way.

#4 Upstream (or downstream) Canoeing: White River

An offshoot of the Missouri River, the White River stretches roughly 584 miles. This takes it into most of Central and Southwest South Dakota before ending in Northwest Nebraska. Although you may not canoe the entire length of the river, you will get a look at some of the untouched forest South Dakota has to offer.

#6 Valleyfair: Steel Venom


This roller coaster is not meant to be trifled with nor is it for the faint of heart. With your legs dangling below, you are immediately thrust up the inverted coaster. You can get as high as 185 feet in the air and if you are in the front of the coaster, you find yourself staring straight down at the concrete below. As you come back down, the coaster can reach a maximum speed of 68 miles per hour as you go up the other side. It may not be for everyone, but if you are a thrill seeker, you can ride this one all day.

#7 Valley Fair: Wild Thing

faced my biggest fear today. ?

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The Wild Thing is probably the most well-known on Valleyfair's campus. While it has a full mile of track, it is certainly not like riding on the highway. You initially climb 207 feet into the Shakopee air. There are only moments to enjoy the view until you are dropped at a 60-degree angle, hitting speeds near 74 miles per hour. The remainder of the ride sees you taking copious amounts of twists and turns and even entering a dark room for awhile. Don't worry though, screaming is allowed.

#8 Valleyfair: Power Tower

The perfect remedy to overcome your fear of heights is the Power Tower. You begin by being slowing guided 275 feet up into the air until you reach the top. From there, the premise is quite simple, you are dropped, and as you fall you reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour. Obviously, you do not have to worry about hitting the ground as you are abruptly stopped at times during the ride. Once you are stopped, you are then brought back up to the top. So simple, yet so thrilling.

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Written by Nolan P. Schmidt

Nolan is the Editor of Fargo Monthly. Schmidt is also the Editor of Spotlight Media's Bison Illustrated and Future Farmer publications. He is originally from Bismarck, N.D. and is a proud graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead.

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