The Enchanted Highway in North Dakota is one of the most delightful roads in America. Stretching just over 30 miles from Gladstone to Regent, this takes you on a journey past some of the largest metal sculptures in the world.
There are 7 sculptures along the way, each with its own unique story and theme. You can stop and park at 6 of them to get a closer look at the art. Each stop offers informational signs about the different sculptures as well as picnic tables and some playground elements too. Each installation is designed to be its own little park for visitors to stop at, get out, and enjoy.
This is art that you and your dog can enjoy together. In most cases you both can walk right to the pieces and inspect them up close. While we mainly take in art with our eyes, dogs need their noses to really appreciate the craftsmanship and artistry.
The sculptures are amazing! Each one is colossal, some towering over 50 feet tall. "Geese in Flight" kicks it off on the Interstate exit to Gladstone, and is the only one you can't stop at. "Deer Crossing" comes next, and (in addition to the giant deer) offers a walk-through maze to navigate if you're so inclined.
About midway through the trip is the tiny community of Lefor. If you take a quick detour into the little town you'll find their beautiful St. Elizabeth's Queen of the Prairie Church. Another point of interest is the ancient Lefor bank vault, still standing since 1913.
Next along the Enchanted Highway are the "Grasshoppers" (the big one is supposedly the World's Largest Grasshopper). Following this is "Fisherman's Dream", one of the most elaborate of all the sculptures. This detailed waterscape features several fish, plants, waves, a fisherman, and even a boat built for visitors to climb into and peer out of. Collectively these pieces make up the World's Largest Fish Sculpture. This intricately designed installation is one of the more impressive works along the highway, and is definitely worth stopping at. We suggest getting out and walking around it to take in the whole scene.
The next sculptures are the giant "Pheasants on the Prairie" bird family. Coincidentally enough, many small birds manage to make their homes inside these oversized pheasants.
"Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again" is one of the tallest sculptures along the route. At over 50 feet, it depicts the hero of North Dakota himself riding gloriously on horseback. This stop also has a stagecoach you can climb into for photos (or just for fun).
The last sculpture on the way to Regent was actually the first one to be built in 1991. The "Tin Family" towers over the highway and is another piece that boasts a world record, specifically for World's Largest Tin Family.
All the sculptures were meant to represent different facets of rural North Dakota life. Sculptor Gary Greff (a former school teacher) began making them to draw people to his dwindling home town of Regent. He ended up creating one of the most quirky and interesting tourist attractions in America. His string of art installations evoke a sense of whimsy that is almost impossible to find these days.
This was enjoyed very much by both human and dogs alike. The girls enjoyed getting to stop and sniff at each little sculpture park. There were interesting sights as well as smells and they seemed to thoroughly enjoy exploring each area.
This drive is a lot of fun. It's definitely a one-of-a-kind attraction! It is also completely free to enjoy, but please leave a donation in the box if you stop. When you see all the art up close you can't help but appreciate the labor of love that went into it. This is something truly impressive to behold and will leave you in awe of what the human spirit can create.