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The Enchanted Highway is one of North Dakota’s quirkiest roadside attractions. Located about 10 minutes east of Dickinson, ND this 32 miles stretch of road entices guests off the highway and takes them down a 2 lane road. Although that road you’ll find seven massive metal sculptures built seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Whether you are visiting Dickinson or on a road trip across the state to visit the picturesque Theodore Roosevelt National Park, this unique detour is a must-visit. Driving the North Dakota Enchanted Highway is like taking a journey into a whimsical world where rolling hills and farmland collide in a strangely beautiful way with bizarre and peculiar larger-than-life scrap metal art.
This guide to the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota gives you a sculpture-by-sculpture look at the different stops, their significance, and the history.
About the North Dakota Enchanted Highway
The Enchanted Highway has a unique backstory. It was created by a retired school teacher from the tiny town of Regent, North Dakota. The sculptor, Gary Greff, decided to create the sculptures as a way to entice people off the highway and bring them to his town of Regent, to give the town a much needed economic boost. It has been 30 years in the making and still a work in progress.
The drive itself would be a great detour even without the sculptures. The small two lane road takes you through gentle rolling hills surrounded by scenic sunflower fields and cornfields.
Sculptures along the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota
There are seven metal sculptures built along the North Dakota Enchanted Highway. Many of them are built using old oil well tanks and pipes that have been welded together. While the Enchanted Highway is impressive as it is, this project is far from complete. In fact, Gary Greff has hopes to install three more sculptures along the roadway in the future.
All of the sculptures along the Enchanted Highway have their own parking lot. This allows you to pull off the road, get out of the car, take photos, and explore beneath the sculptures to get a good perspective of their actual size.
Geese in Flight (2001)
Installed in June 2001, Geese in Flight is the first sculpture that greets visitors on Interstate 92. You can see the 110 foot tall sculpture towering over the interstate regardless of which direction you are traveling.
The installation holds the Guinness World Record for the largest scrap metal sculpture in the world. Weighing over 75 tons and spanning 156 feet long, this sculpture depicts 10 geese flying through the sky with sun rays behind them.
The sculpture is the only one on the North Dakota Enchanted Highway that is actually north of the interstate. All other sculptures are found along the tw0-lane road south of the interstate as you journey toward the town of Regent.
The Deer Family (2002)
The Deer Family is the next sculpture you come up along North Dakota’s Enchanted Highway as you drive south from I94.
Erected in 2002, The Deer Family, depicts a buck leaping over a fence with a doe behind him. The sculpture, which stands 75 feet at its tallest, is designed to look more like a shadow of the deer. Therefore, it is more two-dimensional than many of the other sculptures you’ll see along the road.
If traveling the Enchanted Highway with kids, this roadside stop also has a small metal maze. Children can navigate through the maze while parents appreciate the sculpture.
Grasshopper in the Field (1999)
The third sculpture you’ll approach and the fourth installed, Grasshopper in the Field was erected in 1999. The giant grasshopper stands 40 feet tall and is 50 feet long and is notably placed next to a cornfield. The roadside stop is a nod to the challenges farmers in the area face every year.
At this North Dakota roadside attraction, there are small teeter totters adjacent to the massive metal art where kids can play, as well.
Fisherman’s Dream (2006)
Fisherman’s Dream is the most recently installed sculpture along the Enchanted Highway. Placed along the roadway in 2006, this colorful, three-dimensional, tin sculpture depicts seven different types of fish swimming under the water. The largest fish, a 70-foot-long rainbow trout leaps above the water as you often see trout do as they swim upstream.
A personal favorite of ours, this sculpture has so much detail! It is also one of the larger, more intricate sculptures on the Enchanted Highway, and also one of the most colorful sculptures.
Kids will enjoy climbing on the small boat while parents walk through the underwater scene.
Pheasants on the Prairie (1996)
As you get closer to Regent, the sculptures get closer together. Pheasants on the Prairie is the next one you will come up to on the left side of the road along the route. Installed in 1996, this wire mesh sculpture took 3 years to create.
The sculpture depicts a rooster, hen and baby chicks surrounded by North Dakota’s beautiful prairie lands. At its tallest, the rooster stands 40 feet high and is 70 feet long from beak to tail feathers. The hen is slightly smaller at 35 feet tall and 60 feet long.
Teddy Rides Again (1993)
Also gracing the left side of the road when driving south on the North Dakota Enchanted Highway, Teddy Rides Again is one of the simpler statues. However, it is also one of the most meaningful for the state.
The 51-foot-tall sculpture built in 1993, pays tribute to President Theodore Roosevelt, whose love for North Dakota is an important part of the state’s history. If you travel through western North Dakota, you’ll see nods to the 26th president in a lot of places, like Dickinson, Medora, and of course, at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
The sculpture of Theodore Roosevelt on his horse, Mulley, weighs more than 9,000 pounds and stands just south of Black Butte. There is also a horse drawn carriage at this roadside stop that kids can play in.
Tin Family (1991)
The last sculpture along the Enchanted Highway was actually the first sculpture ever installed. Created in 1991, the world’s largest tin family is one of the more whimsical works along the popular route.
The tin sculpture features a larger-than-life farm family, including a Ma and Pa and their son.
The dad stands 45 feet tall and is holding a pitchfork, presumably ready to work on the farm. The mom is 44 feet tall and is holding a basket of flowers probably freshly picked from the family’s garden. Little junior stands 23 feet tall and is holding a lollipop.
The colorfully sculpted family is cute. Like many of the sculptures along the Enchanted Highway, the work represents an important aspect of North Dakota – its farming community.
Things to do in Regent, North Dakota
The small town of Regent awaits visitors who make the journey along North Dakota’s Enchanted Highway.
In the town of less than 150 residents, one final metal sculpture welcomes guests to the town. Although much smaller in size, this sculpture is actually animated! With the push of a button, the characters come alive.
You’ll also find the Enchanted Highway Gift Shop, a restaurant, a quintessential small town mural, and the Enchanted Castle motel, for those who want to spend a night in the quiet North Dakota town. While there isn’t a lot to do in Regent if you are driving the North Dakota Enchanted Highway, it is worth stopping in the town to visit the gift shop and see the final sculpture.
Is the North Dakota Enchanted Highway worth visiting?
The Enchanted Highway is quirky, different, and a fun drive through a beautiful region of North Dakota. The detour will take roughly an hour and a half to two hours to drive to Regent and back. But this interesting drive is well worth the extra time it takes to veer off the highway.
The sculptures along the Enchanted Highway are fun and enjoyable. But the rolling hills and vivid fields of yellow, green, amber, and orange are equally as eye-catching. It’s that unique marriage of natural elements and quirky metal ones that makes the road trip well worth the detour!
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This trip to southwestern North Dakota and the North Dakota Enchanted Highway was sponsored by the North Dakota Tourism Board.