Turtle River State Park, Arvilla
Credit for the establishment of Turtle River State Park goes to Russell Reid, superintendent of the State Historical Society of North Dakota from 1930 to 1965. Serving also as secretary of the State Parks Committee and state procurement officer for the Civilian Conservation Corps, Reid helped shape North Dakota's fledgling state park system.Use our Arvilla driving holiday planner to visit Turtle River State Park on your trip to Arvilla, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
Civilian Conservation Corps
Established in 1934, Turtle River State Park was one of a number of new parks built in North Dakota under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "New Deal" programs. Intended to provide economic relief to the nation's unemployed during the Great Depression of the 1930s, work relief programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) were initiated.
In 1935, a CCC transient work camp, SP-5, was built in Larimore. It initially housed 185 young men, along with their commanding officers. They were assigned to build a new park nearby, originally called Grand Forks State Park.
CCC construction projects in the park included bridges, roads, parking areas, foot paths and a number of stone and log buildings, many of which are still in use today. One of their notable achievements was the construction of a fieldstone dam, swimming hole and bathhouse. The bathhouse was later converted into the CCC Memorial Picnic Shelter, and the swimming hole was closed due to public safety concerns.
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the men constructed the Woodland Lodge, which was to be used as a combined dining hall, concessions building and caretaker's home. The lodge served as the park's centerpiece until 2000, when it was severely damaged during spring flooding. The building was painstakingly dismantled and reconstructed in 2002 on higher ground. At the old site, you can still see the outline of the foundation and the original fireplace.
Turtle River State Park Reviews
Turtle River State Park was nice. We were there early in the season so the water and washroom facilities were not yet open. The sites seemed fine although they might be tight if the Park were busy. It... more »
Entering the park there is a great interpretive center with knowledgeable staff, maps, etc. I was there for some walking on trails only but there are plenty of campsites and cabins within the park. Tr... more »
This is a pretty fun place to go if you don't mind driving about 20 minutes out of town. Worth it in my opinion. The shelters and facilities seem well kept and there are lots of places to hike with the family. As far as Grand Forks goes this is about the most elevation change you will find, which is a nice break from the flat surroundings in the RRV.
Very nice park for hiking and biking. You can checkout park passes at the library for free if you live in Grand forks County!
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5 days in Arvilla BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, relaxing, romantic, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: November, relaxing, romantic, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 16 days in North Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in North Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, museums, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in North Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Grand Forks BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in North Dakota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, kids, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium