KX Summer Road Trip: Garrison Recap

KX News hit the road on Friday for the first part of our Summer Road Trip – to the walleye capital Garrison and Fort Stevenson State Park!

Brooke Williams, Becky Farr, Tom Schrader and Karassa Stinchcomb made the trip for the 5pm and 6pm TV news to bring you the news live on site.

And just in case you missed it, here’s a recap of the stories we shared from Garrison:

Fort Stevenson State Park is a popular destination for campers

Staying close to home for the holidays has been a significant side effect of the pandemic. Families are looking for ways to stay socially aloof while doing something fun.

One of the perks of a nice summer here is camping.

We met with the park superintendent of Fort Stevenson State Park, who said the park has become a summer destination.

“We see a lot of North Dakota recognizing that this is a place to go and play on the weekends,” said Chad Trautman.

He says that over the past decade there has been a surge in the number of campers.

And about 90 percent of those who love nature are from North Dakotas.

To try and make it an all-in-one destination, they offer rentals of different equipment, like canoes, pontoons, fishing boats and even bicycles.

For the full story, Click here.

Ralph Sayler, 90, Fort Stevenson volunteer, is “a real gem”

We met a volunteer who has spent decades preserving the history of the fort for visitors.

“As you can see from his wealth of knowledge, he truly is a real gem for us!” said park superintendent Chad Trautman.

Trautman talks about volunteer Ralph Sayler.

He was involved in the Fort-Stevenson Founded for 30 years as a performer. And this 90 year old man certainly knows his stuff … with a little help of a few accessories.

Sayler says he read all of the Interpretive Center books. The most important is the journal of General Régis de Trobriand.

To add a little something extra to everyone’s experience, Sayler taught himself to play instruments that were played during the 1800s. He says knowing the history of the instrument is important to him.

For the full story, Click here.

The History of Fort Stevenson State Park

The Fort Stevenson State Park you visit today is not the one that existed in 1867.

In fact, if you stood where it originally was, you would be 110 feet underwater.

“In 1867 the army decided it needed a fort in this area. The troops arrived from St. Louis on the steamboat and started building the fort, ”said volunteer Ralph Sayler.

Almost everything at Fort Stevenson are replicas, including the cannons and the guardhouse.

The works of art produced by the fort’s first commander, General Régis de Trobriand, enabled them to recreate history.

But it’s not just the facts he knows; he is also a great storyteller.

Sayler says that because this fort existed, 1,600 people can now call Garrison home.

“If the fort hadn’t been here, there wouldn’t be any soldiers in the garrison. There probably wouldn’t be a garrison, ”Sayler said.

For the full story, Click here.

Hidden gems in garrison

Getting people to visit Fort Stevenson State Park isn’t too hard a job; there is plenty to do, from camping to outings on the lake.

But getting visitors to explore Garrison and all it has to offer is a bit more of a challenge.

We went to Garrison to show you some hidden gems he has to offer.

Bree Diffely is the director of the Garrison Convention and Visitors Bureau. She says it’s the perfect place to walk around and relax.

“We’re a town of 1,700 people, I think, somewhere around there. So, you kind of have that calm, serene way of being able to do things. Lots of friendly faces and it’s just a good more laid back, friendly and inclusive community, ”Diffely said.

For the full story, Click here.

Kites take over at Sky Fest in Fort Stevenson

It’s not a bird or a plane, instead… it’s kites taking over the skies of Fort Stevenson State Park! Earlier this week, the summer kickoff was in full swing.

We were there to have fun and learn a bit of the history behind it all.

“This festival has been going on for 28 years,” said founder Deb Lenzen.

James Phillips and Pat Curtis are first-time visitors and let’s just say they were in awe of the massive display in the sky.

But the festival is more than just a spectator of the sky. Various vendors selling food, renting kites, and even making kites are all part of the fun!

To learn more about Sky Fest and keep it in mind for years to come, Click here.

For the full story, Click here.

An upgrade arrives at Fort Stevenson State Park to see how many people are visiting

Earlier this week, we shared with you how more and more people are spending their summers camping, including here at Fort Stevenson State Park.

We went to Garrison to see how the state parks are upgraded to find out how many people are visiting.

State parks have always had a traffic meter. It used to be a sensor on the road that counted entering cars.

But now the new system has a camera posted at the entrance that reads license plates. This will give more detailed information like how long they have been in the park, where they are from and whether they have been to another.

For the full story, Click here.

KX Conversation: Chad Trautman, Fort Stevenson Park Manager

In our June 4 edition of KX Conversation, we were joined by someone familiar with Fort Stevenson State Park.

Chad Trautman, the park superintendent, spoke about the start of summer in North Dakota and his expectations for the park.

We also talked about the events taking place in garrison that people should know about.

For the full story, Click here.

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