Find your next adventure in "North Dakota's Most Beautiful Town."
Valley City - known as the City of Bridges - is so much more than just a small city with beautiful scenery and architecture. Valley City, in addition to it's collection of historic bridges, is home to many cozy coffee shops and trendy boutiques as well we attractions for the whole family including an outdoor swimming pool with a waterslide and many parks to explore.
Things To Do
Valley City is home to not only a National Scenic Byway, but it is also along the path of the North Country Trail and the soon-to-be National Water Trail. Drive, hike, or kayak these nationally recognized routes and enjoy the beauty of the Sheyenne Valley.
The town also has many opportunities for family fun and exploring no matter the time of year. In the spring, catch the North Dakota Winter Show and all of its activities and events, including rodeos, truck/tractor pulls, concerts, agriculture information booths, and amazing food including foot-long hotdogs and freshly squeezed lemonade! As the snow melts, rent a bike from the bike rental kiosk at the Gaukler Family Wellness Center to tour the city and get some fresh air.
When the hot summer rolls around, spend the day at Lake Ashtabula fishing, boating, tubing, skiing, swimming, and more! While you're there, grab a bite to eat at the Hungry Pelican, the Crossing, or in Sibley! Want to stay closer to town? Take a dip at the Valley City Community Outdoor Pool and try out the 148-foot waterslide! Head over to City Park for "Music in the Park" and listen to unique artists, including North Dakota native and internationally raved musician Greg Hager! Bike, kayaking, or hike the many routes and walking paths in town with the bike rental kiosk or the kayak rental kiosk both through the Valley City Parks and Recreation. Enjoy the sunshine at Bjornson Golf Course or the Valley City Town and Country Club to practice a few swings and enjoy Valley City's two scenic golf courses. Summer is the perfect time to explore downtown boutiques and coffee shops.
Fall brings beautiful foliage to the trees in the Sheyenne Valley. Take the Scenic Byway to Lake Ashtabula or south to Fort Ransom and Lisbon - and don't forget to stop for a tasty lunch at one of the restaurants along the way, including the Lunchbox found in Fort Ransom! Catch the Autumnal equinox at the Medicine Wheel or take advantage of the turning leaves to practice your photography.
North Dakota winters are too cold to do anything outside, right? Not quite. Although North Dakota might set record breaking temperatures and snowfall during the winter, there are so many opportunities to take advantage of these things. Cold weather brings frozen lakes and rivers, perfect for ice fishing and snowmobiling. Participate in an ice fishing derby at Lake Ashtabula or fish recreationally! Check out the area's snowmobiling trails below. Take the kiddos tubing at the Fort Ransom Thrill Hills or Charlie Brown Hill in Valley City or go cross country skiing. When in Valley City, catch the Parade of Lights each December to see dazzling lights (and Santa!) followed by hot chocolate, Christmas music, late night shopping, and games.
Take a trip down the Sheyenne River! bring your own or rent one of 8 rental kayaks through Valley City Parks and Recreation’s kayak kiosk located at Bjornson Park Municipal Golf Course. The beautiful Sheyenne river is in the process of becoming a National Water Trail with 199 miles of scenic river bends and endless possibilities to explore!
Valley City Parks and Recreation has a bike rental kiosk at the Gaukler Family Wellness Center where visitors can rent bicycles and explore Valley City and its abundance of shops, parks, bike paths, and more. Cycle through the heart of Valley City on Central or up to Medicine Wheel Park to see one of only a few Native American solar calendars in the country and walk through the Solar System. With the convenient size of the town, everything is accessible on a bike! See vcparks.com for more details and availability of bicycles.
Keep up with the trends by shopping at Valley City boutiques and other stores located all around town. Stop by Blush Boutique on Central Avenue or Real Deals on West Main Street. Downtown Valley City includes an array of different shops including clothing boutiques, antique stores, Pride of Dakota products, thrift stores, and more!
In the summer months, take a dip in the pool at the Valley City Community Outdoor Pool that features a zero-depth entry, fountains, a playground, and a waterslide! Lake Ashtabula located 15 miles north of Valley City is another great spot for swimming with three swimming areas: Mel Rieman Campground and Recreation Area, Eggerts Landing Campground, and the Crossing Campground.
For more information on hours of operation and opening/closing dates for the Outdoor Pool, visit vcparks.com.
Drive the Scenic Byway from Lake Ashtabula through Valley City, Fort Ransom, and Lisbon and experience the beauty of the Sheyenne River Valley. This Scenic Byway features 40 interpretive sites that give background for this area’s settlers and rich history throughout the years. Take in the breathtaking scenes of the Byway as well as the towns along the way.
Enjoy being up close with the railroad and trains as you golf at the Town and Country club or take in the scenic river views of Bjornson Golf Course with its lush trees and grasslands.
Valley City is lucky to have not only a scenic byway and a water trail, but also the North Country Trail! This trail is the longest trail in the National Trails System stretching from North Dakota to Vermont through many different landscapes like forests, farmland, communities, and more. Hike this trail to see the beauty of the Valley City area, including the Hi-Line Bridge.
"The Sheyenne Valley Trail is located south of Jamestown and Valley City. There is a wide variety of riding in this system. The trail follows the Sheyenne River bottom and the James River. It also has ditch riding, shelter belts, and wide open fields. This takes you through the Fort Ransom State Park and also a park called Little Yellowstone. Several other stops are located along the way for you to warm up or relax as you enjoy riding this very attractive trail system."
Click here for more information on trail openings and maps.
Catch A Game
Medicine Wheel Park
A unique and scenic landmark on VCSU’s campus, Medicine Wheel Park began as a class project in 1992. Since then, it has evolved into a hallmark of the community, encompassing 30 acres, and providing an educational and recreational destination for visitors of all ages.
The Medicine Wheel features Native American Burial Grounds, a Walking Tour of the Solar System, a Meridian Calendar, and is along the North Country Trail.
Learn more here.
Barnes County Museum
Founded in 1930, the museum is open year-round with many events, lectures, and frequently changing exhibits. It has resources for local geneology research and a gift shop to commemorate your trip. Guided tours for groups are available. Featured exhibits at the Barnes County Museum include Gundy the Triceratops, a scale model of the Hi-Line Bridge, and artifacts from pioneer, military, and agricultural life.
Hunting, Fishing, & Birding
Valley City and its surrounding areas are known for great fishing and hunting. They Sheyenne River Valley is also home ot a handful of bird species, including the black billed cuckoo. Keep an eye out for winter and summer fishing tournaments at Lake Ashtabula.