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"North Dakota's Most Beautiful Town"

Expedia named Valley City "North Dakota's Most Beautiful Town".... but, why?

Valley City - a town of 6,500 people and a handful of beautiful sights to see. Out of the flatlands of North Dakota and nestled in a valley of trees, trails, and trains, Valley City has gained it's title of "North Dakota's Most Beautiful Town."

In North Dakota, known for its flat horizons, a dip into a tree-speckled valley with a snaking river and winding roadway is a welcome variation.

It couldn't be for its scenic drives, right?

Wrong! As the first regionally recognized byway of the National Scenic Byways in North Dakota, the Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway (SRVNSB) allows you to capture all of the extensive beauty this unique area has to offer. Starting North of Valley City and spanning 63 gorgeous miles of hills, farmland, nature, historic sites, and charming small towns, the SRVNSB offers a rare and exquisite road trip that is sure to captivate you. Lucky for Valley City, this stretch of the nationally delegated road runs straight the the heart of town including Central Avenue. This drive is especially stunning in the autumn months when the trees are beginning to turn to a sea of green, red, yellow, and orange leaves and winding roads through tunnels of timber give you a new surprise around every curve. Stop at 41 interpretive panels along the way that feature many historic sites including Standing Rock State Historic Site, and visit other small towns along the way - Kathryn, Fort Ransom, and Lisbon. Learn more about the SRVNSB and get an itinerary here.

Okay... but surely it isn't because it's a good place to hike.

Sorry to break it to you, but Valley City and its surrounding areas is the perfect place to hike. In fact, not only does Valley City offer walking paths around town for all skill levels, but the longest trail in the National Trails System called the North Country Trail also runs directly through Valley City. Convenient? Absolutely. The North Country Trail is 4,800 miles long and runs through eight states from North Dakota to Vermont. The Sheyenne River Valley Chapter begins at the north end of Lake Ashtabula and extends through rolling hills, forest, prairies, and towns like Valley City. Amenities of these trails include backcountry campsites, campgrounds, public recreation areas, tourist information sites, supply stores, historic attractions, and access to Sheyenne State Forest and Fort Ransom State Park. The local chapter frequently organizes hikes and trail days and encourages residents and visitors alike to get involved!

If they have two nationally recognized trails, they can't have another, right?

Valley City currently has two nationally recognized - the Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway and the North Country Trail - but a team of dedicated organizations have been working together to create a third nationally recognized trail. Yes, a third. The goal of the Sheyenne River Water Trail is to be developed as 199 miles of water trails to create more recreational opportunities, provide safe public launch sites, and encourage more people to utilize the Sheyenne River to see the beauty of the Sheyenne River Valley. Partners of this team include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, Valley City National Fish Hatchery, Valley City Parks and Recreation, Barnes County Soil Conservation District, Barnes Country Parks, Fort Ransom State Park, Lisbon Park Board, and Sheyenne National Grasslands (U.S. Forest Service).

Okay, okay. But what about the town itself?

Valley City boasts some of the most beautiful sights in all of North Dakota. With a "Streetscape" project, Central Avenue saw larger sidewalks, charming streetlights, and outdoor speakers for a welcoming experience. The town also has some of the most stunning architecture including Valley City State University built in 1890 and the Valley City Barnes County Public Library which is one of three remaining original Carnegie Libraries in the state of North Dakota still functioning as a library. Valley City is also lucky to boast a free museum that features 18,000 square feet of telling the rich history of Valley City and Barnes County. The exhibits are frequently changing and there are many free public lectures by different members of the community. The parks in Valley City contribute largely to the beauty of the city. Chautauqua Park is one of the most popular green spaces in town with sand volleyball courts, a pavilion, picnic shelters, and a gorgeous view of the Hi-Line Bridge. City Park and its bandshell are a central hub for many summer activities including Music in the Park. Medicine Wheel Park, featuring Native American Burial Grounds, a walking tour of the Solar System, a Meridian Calendar, and the North Country Trail, is one of the must-see locations in Valley City. Starting as a class project in 1992, the Medicine Wheel measures 213 around with spokes that align with the first days of the four seasons. This park is unlike anything you can find in the area.

Valley City is filled with beauty - hence, "North Dakota's Most Beautiful Town."

Valley City was destined to be stunning while nestled in the hills of the Sheyenne River Valley. A combination of national trails, rich history, gorgeous parks, and stunning architecture, Valley City truly earned the title of "North Dakota's Most Beautiful Town."

See "North Dakota's Most Beautiful Town" for yourself on your next road trip!

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