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Natural Areas of North Dakota

Gunlogson Arboretum Nature Preserve

GIF--Location of Natural Area


Alexis Duxbury

Directions: From Cavalier, 5 miles west on N.D. Highway 5 to Icelandic State Park.

Donated to North Dakota by G.B. Gunlogson, the Gunlogson Arboretum Nature Preserve was incorporated into the state preserve system in 1980. Prior to its acquisition by the state, the site had been in the Gunlogson family for over 80 years. In a setting rich in cultural and ecological history, G.B. Gunlogson was among the first to recognize the area embraced "a living story about how the land was formed by glaciers, water, wind, plant growth, and time." It was this living heritage G.B. sought to preserve and share with the people of North Dakota.

JPG--Bridge Over Water

The Preserve straddles a three-quarter mile long segment of the Tongue River. The Preserve, primarily wooded, is dominated by mature elm and basswood. Shallow woodland ponds and wet thickets are found in low-lying areas. Many of the ponds are spring-fed, retaining water throughout the summer.

The significant plants and animals of the Preserve are many and varied. Altogether more than a dozen rare species have been reported from the area. These range from the southern watermeal, an inconspicuous, aquatic plant slightly larger than a pinhead, glorified in college textbooks as one of the world's smallest flowering plants; to the pileated woodpecker, a hauntingly primeval-looking species more typically associated with the old-growth forests of the East.

JPG--Boy Walking Trails

Background Information: A guide on the Gunlogson Arboretum Nature Preserve is available from the Park headquarters.

Facilities: The Nature Preserve is cries-crossed by a marked trail system. This system is open to foot traffic year-round and cross-country skiing in winter. Displays on the geology and local plant and animal life are in a small visitor center in the park. Guided tours of the nature preserve are scheduled during the summer months. Icelandic State Park offers modern and semi-modern camping opportunities.

Ownership and Contact: Icelandic State Park is owned by the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department. Inquiries can be directed to: Park Manager, Icelandic State Park, Star Route 1, Box 64A, Cavalier, ND 58220.

ALEXIS DUXBURY is natural resources botanist for the North Dakota Came and Fish Department in Bismarck, N.D.

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