Historic Medora ND - North Dakota's #1 Destination

Medora-Deadwood Wagon Trail Ride

Friday May 17, 2013 - Friday August 30, 2013

Applications being accepted


Calling all cowgirls, cowboys, horses, wagon masters and nature lovers.
The stagecoach is leaving—from Buffalo, South Dakota to Medora, North Dakota.
            It is all part of the Medora to Deadwood Wagon Train Trail Ride. This is an opportunity to relive the history and lore of the Medora Stage and Forwarding Company.
            The one difference from the 1884 ride is participants need to bring their own horse, wagon and buggy to participate in the trip. The second half of this wagon train trail ride leaves Buffalo, SD, on Saturday morning, August 31, 2013, and proceeds northward to Medora, ND, arriving on September 7, 2013.
            For participants on the northern leg of this historic stage coach route, the trip will provide a trek across private, state and federal land. This unique partnership will give riders a chance to see some of the more remote areas of North Dakota and South Dakota.
            Ray Gilbert ranches about 8.5 miles southwest of Buffalo where he and his family raise good doing northern beef cattle. Gilbert and his wife Linda made the trip last year from Buffalo to Deadwood, SD.
            The Gilberts were in the lead wagon. Ray called the trip memorable. “It was lot of fun, quite relaxing. a good way to see the country at three to three and one-half miles per hour.”
            He said one of the positive aspects of the trip was the friendships that resulted. “Everybody became fairly close and we met a lot of new people; made some new friends. We got a lot more acquainted with people I had known for years because of the speed, proximity and the relaxed atmosphere of the trip.”
            The trip will give riders an opportunity to see the changing geography of the two states, something that really was interesting to an agricultural producer like Ray. “I would recommend (the trail ride) just because you can see the difference in the country and at that pace you really see the country . . . You can discuss with people the differences in the particular area and hear their perspective.”
            Both Ray and Linda will be part of the Buffalo to Medora leg and he had advice for riders. “Make sure you have your horses in shape. It is 100 plus miles. You need to have your horses in shape and be well aware of what is going on. Weather can change quite quickly, especially that time of the year.”
            It was in the fall of 1884 that French entrepreneur Antoine de Vallombrosa the Marquis de Morés sent the first of four coaches down the trail from Medora and Little Missouri River country to Deadwood in the Black Hills. The towns were part of Dakota Territory. The goal of de Mores was to monopolize freight and passenger traffic going to and from Deadwood, a booming gold rush town in the Black Hills.
            The 1884 trip was a one shot continuous trek that took 36 hours with riders and horses changing often. The 2013 wagon train trail ride is a seven-day event aboard horse or wagon that covers only one-half of the distance. Scattered throughout this year’s experience will be living history lessons, campfire entertainment and creation of memories and friendships.
            “This is a user friendly opportunity for people who want to travel on some of the original trail,” Medora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Leona Odermann said. “Participants will have an opportunity to be close to the original route used by the Medora Stage and Forwarding Company.”
            The common thread for the trip is the horse. Individual participants can ride their favorite saddle horse or have a team with a wagon.
            The Billings County Museum, the Medora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and Deadwood Days of ‘76 Museum are the major hosts for the wagon train trail ride from Buffalo, SD, to Medora August 31-September 7, 2013.
            Karin Savoie, director of Museum Services for Deadwood Days of ‘76 Museum, said a major emphasis of the trail ride is education “about the past and how current day landowners are caring for the resources along the original trail.
            “The ride takes you back in time and allows you to enjoy unforgettable, majestic scenery,” Savoie said about the 2012 ride and the expected joy for the 2013 ride.
            One of the organizers of the ride is Kim Shade of Medora, who ranches just south of the original trail near Medora. Shade and his family are enthusiastic about helping organize the trail ride. “Men and women risked a lot back in the day to travel from Medora to Deadwood. The risk versus reward scenario was likely not much of a consideration for those travelers.  It’s quite enticing to say the least. I am excited about the opportunity to revisit the history of the original trail, which passed near our ranch,” Shade said.
            Shade won the prestigious “Teamster Award” during the southern leg of the trip last year. The award is given to the individual who displayed outstanding professionalism in handling her or his team and wagon.
            More information is available by calling the Billings County Museum at 701-623-4829 or the Days of ’76 Museum at (605) 578-1657.

You can reserve your space on this historic trip by filling out the APPLICATION FORM shown above.

For more information CLICK HERE