We're also getting ready to welcome you along the Lewis & Clark Trail. The historic sites of Ft. Union and Ft. Buford are just 25 miles south & west of Williston where you can experience the grandeur of the confluence of the Yellowstone & Missouri Rivers.
The majestic Missouri River provides scenic views and water resources for irrigation and value-added crop production.
The "word" on Williston was out a full year before there was any semblance of a town here. Now it was surmised the "Empire Builder" was headed for the West Coast and the word went ahead that where the rails met the Missouri River a good town would be established.
The Williston community prides itself on its ability to provide superior educational opportunities for students of all ages. With top quality public and private secondary and elementary schools, a two-year college, adult education, and programs for the mentally and physically handicapped, Williston serves as a regional center for education and learning.
Williston students have regularly scored higher on national SAT and ACT tests and in CTBS testing, where our students scored as well or better than 78% of all US students taking the test. Williston's parents, teachers and the community as a whole have a strong commitment to education and have worked together to develop programs and curriculum that will prepare our young people for the future.
There are two school districts within the Williston region, District 1 (serving schools within the city limits) and District 8 (serving the rural schools within a 33 mile radius of the city limits). School District #1 public school system consists of 5 elementary schools for grades K-6; one junior high and one senior high with a total enrollment of 2,780 students. The private/parochial school system consists of 2 elementary schools and one junior-senior high school with a total enrollment of School District #8 has four schools that serve a total enrollment of 252 students in kindergarten through 8th Grade.
Fishing & Hunting in the Mon-Dak Region
It's time to throw out your line! Come to fish the "big lake" or enjoy smaller bodies of water in our area! Game fish are northern pike, muskellunge, walleye, sauger, sugeye, trout, salmon, largemouth and smallmouth bass, paddlefish, zander, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, rock bass, white bass, burbot and channel catfish. Nongame fish and bait fish are all species not names as game fish.
Paddlefish snagging is legal from May 1 through June 15 every year in that area of the Missouri River lying west of US 85 bridge and in that portion of the Yellowstone River in North Dakota. All anglers must obtain and have in their possession a paddlefish tag in addition to other licenses that may be required. Two tages per angler will be issued at a charge of $3 per tag. These tags are not transferrable to another person.
Each fisherman will be allowed two tags or two paddlefish per year. Paddlefish tags are available from select license vendors in Williams and McKenzie Counties and from the Game and Fish Department's Bismarck office. Obtain tags only if you plan on snagging paddlefish. Fishing licenses are also available through local vendors.
Residents 16 years o fage and older and non-residents 16 years of age and older need licenses. Licenses are in the form of stamps. They must be pasted to a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate, which is issued at no charge. All stamps must be signed.
Pheasant hunting in this region is among the best in the country. The pheasant season traditionally opens in Mid-October and runs through the end of December. This region has thousands of acres in CRP which provides ideal habitat for ringnecks and other upland game birds. Though the majority of land is privately owned, if you make the necessary contacts several weeks before the season opens, you will generally be given permission to hunt their land. There are also thousands of acres of public lands surrounding Williston. Maps showing the boundaries of public parcels are available through the Game & Fish Department.
The Williston region also attracts avid Hungarian Partridge and sharptail grouse hunters. The season runs from mid-September and continues through the same dates as the pheasant season. Waterfowl hunting is also excellent, especially for giant Canada Geese and duck. Large game is also a big draw for both bow and gun hunters. Whitetail deer and antelope abound. The number of hunting permits is limited and units in the Williston region are consistently the most requested by license applicants statewide, so obtaining a permit may be difficult.
Lewis & Clark Bicentennial 2003-2006
With the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the United States acquired vast expanses of mostly unexplored territory, stretching from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. President Thomas Jefferson chose 29 year old Merriwether Lewis to lead an expedition with 33 year old William Clark into the northwestern portion of the Purchase, using the Missouri River as their primary passageway. Besides geographic exploration, their mission was to investigate the natural resources and native cultures of the area.
Leaving St. Louis on May 14, 1804, Lewis & Clark and their 44 man Corps of Discovery ascended the Missouri and made winter camp at Fort Mandan, in what is now North Dakota, close to the five Knife River Villages of the friendly Mandan and Hidatsa tribes. Here they recruited as interpreters and guides the French Canadian fur trapper Toussaint Charbonenau and his Shoshone wife Sakakawea.
As a result of the Lewis & Clark expedition to the Pacific from 1804 to 1806, the Corps of Discovery opened the upper Missouri region to St. Louis based fur traders, made diplomatic contact with numerous Indian tribes, inventoried plant and animal life, mapped the region, and showed the American flag from the northern plains to the Pacific Coast.
The Lewis and Clark expedition spent more time in North Dakota than any other state during their famous journey. The expedition camped 32 times in our four county area of Williams, McKenzie, Roosevelt and Richland Counties in 1805 and 1806. Today, the Lewis and Clark Trail guides you to the region's most significant sites including Fort Union National Historic Site, Fort Buford State Historic Site, Lewis & Clark State Park and the Confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers.
The City of Williston and the entire trade region are well-served by up-to-date, state-of-the-art medical facilities and well trained, capable medical staff. Medical, dental, and specialized medical clinics provide local residents an excellent choice for treatment and care, whether it be for long-term or out-patient needs.