A river has an undeniable influence on the community that surrounds its waters and the Red River of the North is no exception with its presence in our sister cities of Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN. Unfortunately, when most people think about the Red River, they immediately think of its history of flooding. While this is a truthful thought to have, there are more benefits and recreational activities that the Red River has to offer than one may think. Let’s explore those recreational opportunities, shall we?
Did you know that the 550-mile stretch of the river contains 70+ species of fish and that bird watching has become a popular activity along the river because of the variety of birds that now live along its banks? Due to the river’s expansive flora and fauna, hundreds of animals reap the benefits of the thriving environment surrounding the Red. For those who wish to see and experience the Red for themselves, there are several ways to do so by utilizing options that you may not know about. Here are 5 great ways to learn, see, and do more on the Red River:
1. Go on a canoeing/kayaking adventure!
River Keepers and Moorhead Parks & Recreation are local advocates for exploring the Red River and teaching others about its importance. Their canoe and kayak rentals allow those people brave enough to see, experience, and enjoy the river fist-hand. For only $8/hour, lasting memories can be made and I guarantee you will paddle your way into a new perspective of the Red River.
2017 canoe/kayak rental information:
When: May 31-August 27 | Wednesdays 6-9pm, Saturdays 1-5pm and Sundays 1-5pm
Where: Hjemkomst Center Parking Lot (west lot)
Cost: $8/hour per vessel
For group rentals (5+ vessels), please call Moorhead Parks & Recreation at 218-299-5340.
In addition to the rentals, Moorhead Parks also partners with other various organizations to host river paddling excursions. The excursions are suitable for all skill levels and give you the opportunity to learn about specific topics related to the Red River.
The 2017 paddling excursion dates and topics are:
May 16 – Animal Habitats along the Red River
June 20 – Aviary Expedition
July 18 – History of the Red River
August 15 – Scavenger Hunt on the Red River
The fee for each excursion is $15/person with canoe/kayak rental, or $10/person if you provide your own vessel.
Limited space is available for these excursions – register here.
Additional information on the canoe/kayak rentals and the river paddling excursions can be found here.
2. Get your rod and reel ready for some fishing!
Need some practice? Want to try out that new fishing pole? Don’t want to drive all the way to the lake? No problem! Grab your gear and head to the river for some of the best catfishing around! You might be lucky enough to catch other fish as well, such as pike, perch, walleye, sturgeon, or sauger. A list and map of public access spots, tips, and contacts can be found here.
3. Enjoy the scenery and get your exercise, too!
Let’s be honest, a nice walk or bike ride along the curves of a river is all anyone needs sometimes in order to appreciate the calmness of nature and overcome the stresses of everyday life. Lindenwood Park offers a great trail for both walkers and bikers looking to spend some time enjoying the beautiful scenery throughout the park that follows the path of the river. No matter the season, Lindenwood Park is always a great place to spend some time outdoors and see the changes the river undergoes as the weather changes.
Being a volunteer has many benefits to those who choose to take their time to help out their community. There are also many ways and places to volunteer so there is bound to be something for everyone. For example, for those who enjoy being out in nature, don’t mind getting their hands dirty, and want to benefit the environment, Reforest the Red may be the perfect volunteer opportunity! This opportunity is put on by River Keepers and results in 3,500 trees and shrubs being planted along the river. Furthermore, there are multiple days to choose from so that everyone can find a day that works with their busy schedule! To volunteer, go to www.riverkeepers.org and sign up.
5. Participate in a race on the river!
Ever wondered what it would be like to be in a canoe/kayak race? Here’s your chance to find out! River Keepers sponsors an annual Race the Red event which consists of both a 3.5-mile fun race and a 6-mile competitive race to suit anyone that wants to participate.