By Annika Nelson, Staff Assistant, North Dakota Horizons
Do North Dakota Horizons readers remember U.S. Highway 10? With the advent of Interstate 94, many people do not even think about “Old 10” as the Interstate is straighter and faster. There is something to be said, however, for driving the less-traveled road and truly experiencing North Dakota.
The Old Red Trail, the winding 108-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 10 from Mandan west to Dickinson, is North Dakota’s tenth and newest “Scenic Byway,” designated by the North Dakota Department of Transportation. Traveling at 55 miles per hour, you can better enjoy the corn fields, sunflower fields, rolling hills and sunrises and sunsets.
The towns dotting the trail include Mandan, New Salem, Almont, Glen Ullin, Hebron, Richardton, Taylor, Gladstone and Dickinson. Visit Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park in Mandan, enjoy the Curlew Road between Almont and Glen Ullin and travel down the Enchanted Highway at Gladstone. Stop in a local café for a treat or visit a local museum or park. There is plenty to see and do along the Old Red Trail if you take the time to experience it.
The dedicated Old Red Trail Committee, consisting of representatives from all the towns along the trail, began meeting in May 2006 to create awareness of Old 10/Old Red Trail as an alternative to interstate travel. Receiving the designation of a scenic byway was their ultimate goal. Francis Ziegler of the North Dakota Department of Transportation says, “The new scenic byway designation provides an opportunity to celebrate the historical significance of the Old Red Trail. It was a vital transportation route as North Dakota was settled and now as the state’s longest scenic byway, giving homage to the beautiful prairie landscape and unique sights intrinsic to North Dakota’s wide-open spaces.”
Visit www.oldredtrail.org for the official Old Red Trail website or www.prairiepublic.org/features/redtrail/index.html for additional information through Prairie Public.
Wherever you are, I hope you take the time to enjoy the less-traveled roads, remember the times you spent on those roads, and create new memories along the way.