The Enchanted Highway in Western North Dakota

Traveling the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota

The Enchanted Highway in Western North Dakota

If you are at all interested in the whimsical, unique and humongous roadside attractions of this great country, then a drive down the amazing Enchanted Highway in North Dakota is a MUST!!

Sumoflam on the Enchanted Highway near Regent, ND

Sumoflam on the Enchanted Highway near Regent, ND

On April 2, 2013, I finally had the opportunity to drive one of the “Bucket List” trips for me in all of my travels across the country.  The 32 mile drive features a number of pieces of the amazing artwork of retired Regent, ND school teacher Gary Greff who has taken on this effort in order to keep the small dying town from becoming a ghost town.  I hope to have a pretty comprehensive overview of the entire route, including the map below and detailed directions, mileage, photos and even some details about each stop along the way.


The Enchanted Highway – from I-94 near Dickinson to Regent, ND

GEESE IN FLIGHT – STOP #1

To get started you must get to Exit 72 on I-94 east of Dickinson, ND.  You most certainly cannot miss the first stop, which is called “Geese in Flight” and has been listed as the largest scrap metal sculpture in the world by the Guinness World Book of Records.

"Geese in Flight" - Stop #1 on Enchanted Highway. Off of I-94, Exit 72

“Geese in Flight” – Stop #1 on Enchanted Highway. Off of I-94, Exit 72

Sumoflam at Geese in Flight

Sumoflam at Geese in Flight

“Geese in Flight”, in my opinion, not only has the geese, but the giant backdrop appears to look like a giant eye looking out towards the Enchanted Highway. For my trip south on the Enchanted Highway, this is Mile Point 0 (zero).

The road to geese in flight, lined with dozens of metal geese

The road to Geese in Flight, lined with dozens of metal geese all the way to the top of the hill

One of the dozen of small geese lining the road to Geese in Flight

One of the dozens of small geese lining the road to Geese in Flight

This piece was erected in 2001 and weighs over 78 tons.  The main structure is 154 feet wide and 110 feet tall.  The largest goose has a wingspan of 30 feet.  On a clear day this structure can be seen from nearly 5 miles away (it was a clear day for us – thank goodness!!).  Gary Greff used oil tanks and oil well pipe for the materials to construct this humongous piece of art.

Giant Goose on the Structure - 30 foot wing span

Giant Goose on the Structure – 30 foot wing span

Close up of Geese in Flight

Close up of Geese in Flight

Geese in Flight from Google Maps satellite shot

Geese in Flight from Google Maps satellite shot

View of "Deer Crossing" from "Geese in Flight", about 3 miles away

View of “Deer Crossing” from “Geese in Flight”, about 3 miles away

DEER CROSSING – STOP #2

The drive from Stop 1 “Geese in Flight” to Stop 2 “Deer Crossing” is about 3.4 miles.  As shown above, you can see Deer Crossing and the Enchanted Highway from the top of the “Geese in Flight” hill.

Enchanted Highway Stop #2 - 'Deer Crossing"

“Deer Crossing” – Stop #2 on the Enchanted Highway

Sumoflam at Deer Crossing

Sumoflam at Deer Crossing

“Deer Crossing” is one of the newer works by Mr. Greff.  It was erected in 2002 just a bit south of the small town of Gladstone. The jumping buck is 75 feet tall and 60 feet long.  The doe is 50 feet long and 50 feet tall.  Mr. Greff used oil well tanks for the material to construct this.

Geese in Flight as seen from Deer Crossing

Geese in Flight as seen from Deer Crossing – over 3 miles away

Deer Crossing as seen from Google Map Satellite

Deer Crossing as seen from Google Map Satellite

GRASSHOPPERS IN THE FIELD – STOP #3

The next stop on the trek south to Regent is “Grasshoppers in the Field”.  It is about 12 miles down the road from “Deer Crossing”.  You must pass the small — nearly ghost town — of Lefor, ND before the giant grasshoppers appear on the right side of the road.

First sight of "Grasshoppers"

First sight of “Grasshoppers in the Field” as seen coming south from Lefor, SD

Giant Grasshopper

Giant Grasshopper

Unlike the first two on the drive, “Grasshoppers in the Field” was a complex set of sculptures.   There is one large grasshopper and a couple of smaller ones.  As well, Mr. Greff had added large strands of wheat to the sculpture (made of metal of course!!).  The design of the grasshoppers was similar to the Balsa Wood animals and insects that can be purchased at hobby shops.

Medium Grasshopper

Medium Grasshopper

Wheat and Grasshopper

Wheat and Grasshopper

Closeup of Giant Grasshopper

Closeup of Giant Grasshopper

All of the grasshoppers have stringed lighting so I am assuming they can be lit up at night as well.  This work was completed in 1999.  The Giant Grasshopper 60 feet long and 40 feet tall.  The Medium Grasshopper is 24 feet long and 12 feet tall.  Some of the wheat pieces are well over 40 feet tall.  Fuel tanks and oil well tanks were the predominant materials used for these pieces.

Sumoflam with Giant Grasshopper

Sumoflam with Giant Grasshopper

Grasshoppers in the Field looking north

Grasshoppers in the Field looking north

Grasshoppers in the Field as seen from Google Maps Satellite view

Grasshoppers in the Field as seen from Google Maps Satellite view

FISHERMAN’S DREAM – STOP #4

Fisherman's Dream

Fisherman’s Dream

The next stop on the Enchanted Highway is the newest of Mr. Greff’s creations.  Called “Fisherman’s Dream”, this complex and beautiful work is 14.8 miles south of the “Grasshoppers in the Field”.  Greff completed this work in 2007.  It includes 6 large fish of different sizes including a 60 or 70 foot leaping trout going after a giant dragonfly.

60 foot tall trout - centerpiece of "Fisherman's Dream"

60-70 foot tall trout grabbing dinner – centerpiece of “Fisherman’s Dream”

Fisherman's Dream as seen from "underwater"

Fisherman’s Dream as seen from “underwater”

I must say that I was most impressed with this stop more than any of the others.  All of them are impressive, but the use of colors, the variety, the complexity of the fish scales and even the use of the small fisherman in the boat was just fabulous.

Giant Catfish at "Fisherman's Dream"

Giant Catfish at “Fisherman’s Dream”

Giant Blue Gill at "Fisherman's Dream"

Giant Blue Gill at “Fisherman’s Dream”

Another fish

Another fish

Happy Fisherman at "Fisherman's Dream" floating on the lake

Happy Fisherman at “Fisherman’s Dream” floating on the lake

Another view of "Fisherman's Dream"

Another view of “Fisherman’s Dream”

Sumoflam at "Fisherman's Dream"

Sumoflam at “Fisherman’s Dream”

Fisherman's Dream as seen from Google Maps satellite view

Fisherman’s Dream as seen from Google Maps satellite view

PHEASANTS ON THE PRAIRIE – STOP #5

Pheasants in the Field as seen approaching from the north

Pheasants on the Prairie as seen approaching from the north

Continuing south for about 4.5 miles from “Fisherman’s Dream” is the next stop, called “Pheasants on the Prairie”.  This is also a quite impressive work of art with a giant rooster and hen and their three chicks.

Pheasant Chicks as seen from the Road

Pheasant Chicks as seen from the Road

This work was erected between 1996 and 1997.  The pheasant rooster weighs over 13,000 pounds and is 70 feet long and over 40 feet tall.  The hen weighs 12,000 pounds and is 60 feet long and 35 feet tall. Each of the chicks are about 5000 pounds and are about 20 feet long and 15 feet tall.  Greff used pipe and wire mesh to construct these.  Ironically, the mesh construction was conducive for numerous birds to build nests in!!

The Hen at Pheasants on the Prairie - over 12,000 pounds of bird

The Hen at Pheasants on the Prairie – over 12,000 pounds of bird

The Rooster at Pheasants on the Prairie weighs over 13,000 pounds is over 40 feet tall.

The Rooster at Pheasants on the Prairie weighs over 13,000 pounds is over 40 feet tall

Chicks looking down - make you feel like you are bird food

Chicks looking down – make you feel like you are bird food

Sumoflam at Pheasants on the Prairie

Sumoflam at Pheasants on the Prairie

Pheasants on the Prairie as seen from Google Maps satellite view

Pheasants on the Prairie as seen from Google Maps satellite view

TEDDY RIDES AGAIN – STOP #6

Teddy Rides Again as seen approaching from the north

Teddy Rides Again as seen approaching from the north

The next stop is quite different from most of the others.  It is about 2.2 miles south of the “Pheasants on the Prairie” and honors the inventor of the National Park System in the United States. This is more like a giant wire sculpture of Teddy Roosevelt.  Erected in 1993 out of well pipes, it is 51 feet tall and weighs over 9000 pounds.  This little park also includes a small wooden stage coach being pulled by horses.

Closeup of Teddy Roosevelt

Closeup of Teddy Roosevelt

The Wooden Horses at "Teddy Rides Again"

The Wooden Horses at “Teddy Rides Again”

Another view of the Stagecoach

Another view of the Stagecoach

Sumoflam at Teddy Rides Again

Sumoflam at Teddy Rides Again

Teddy Rides Again as seen on Google Maps satellite view

Teddy Rides Again as seen on Google Maps satellite view

THE TIN FAMILY – STOP #7

The Tin Family as seen approaching from the north

The Tin Family as seen approaching from the north

The last big stop on the road to Regent is the Tin Family.   It is about 3.4 miles south of “Teddy Rides Again” and can be seen for a distance before you get there.  This one has a Dad, a Mom and a son. The Dad is 45 feet tall, the Mom is 44 feet tall and the boy is 23 feet tall.  Mr. Greff used farm tanks, telephone poles, barbed wire and augers to make these, the first of his sculptures.

Mom and Dad and "Tin Family" Kiosk

Mom and Dad and “Tin Family” Kiosk

As can be seen in the photo above, each of the sites has an informative kiosk that notes the name of the work, notes the names of donors and other information.

Mom Closeup

Mom Closeup

Mom's Flower Bouquet

Mom’s Flower Bouquet

Dad Closeup

Dad Closeup

The boy and sucker closeup

The boy and sucker closeup

The whole Tin Family

The whole Tin Family

Sumoflam with Mom and Dad

Sumoflam with Mom and Dad

Tin Family as seen from Google Maps satellite view

Tin Family as seen from Google Maps satellite view

REGENT, NORTH DAKOTA – STOP #8

Welcome to Regent and Enchanted Highway Road Map

Welcome to Regent and Enchanted Highway

Continuing south from the Tin Family about 1.9 miles you pull into the small town of Regent.  Though we arrived around lunch time on a Tuesday (April 2), the town was pretty much dead.  There was a gas station (and believe me…you better fill up here!!) and a small grocery store.  We inquired about cafes and there were two and both were closed.  Even the Enchanted Highway Visitor Center was closed.  Off season I guess.

Enchanted Highway art in downtown Regent, ND

Enchanted Highway art in downtown Regent, ND – whirlygigs and more

Enchanted Highway Gift Shop in Regent, ND - closed the day were there

Enchanted Highway Gift Shop in Regent, ND – closed the day were there

More Enchanted Highway Scenes in Regent, ND

More Enchanted Highway Scenes in Regent, ND – the bison are all fabricated metal

End of the Road - Enchanted Hotel in Regent, ND

End of the Road – Enchanted Castle Hotel in Regent, ND – even has a Drawbridge!!

After filling up with gas, we meandered our way to the end of Main Street to see the Enchanted Castle Hotel, which was apparently built from an old school.  We didn’t have time to stop there as we continued to head south.

Enchanted Highway Kiosk

Enchanted Highway Kiosk

The Enchanted Highway makes for a great diversionary trip, especially if you plan to head south to Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills.  Definitely one of the Dream Places!!

10 thoughts on “Traveling the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota”

  1. I especially love oversized art pieces, like the geese and the deer. I wonder what the thought process is in the artist’s head, as they try to take their design and implement it on such a grand scale!

    1. Traci: Like you, I would have loved to have spoken with Gary Greff, the artist. I do hope to get out there again in the next year or two and spend more time in Regent and also perhaps get an opportunity to interview Mr. Greff. I have done this at other places, such as when I visited the Jurustic Park in Wisconsin late last year (see my post at ). These artists always have character (and are typically characters)

  2. Awesome entry! The google satellite images were a nice touch! My dad lives in the neighboring town of Mott and has helped Gary with the Enchanted Highway/Castle projects over the years. Toured the castle last summer, really neat place! Will be really cool when it’s complete.

  3. Nice article about the Enchanted Highway. Regent is my home town and I am proud to call it home. The one item that I would like to address is that Lefor is in North Dakota and not South Dakota. Nice pictures and if you ever get back this way be sure to check out the Castle. Very well proportioned rooms and even a tavern in the lunchroom. Strange to see it as a motel as my parents were the custodians of the Regent Public School for 9 years. Glad to see the buildings put to such good use and not left to rot and fall apart from lack of use.

    1. Sherry: Thanks for the comments and checking it out. Also, thanks for noting the typo on Lefor. It has been changed and corrected. We did want to visit the hotel, but had to scoot to get to Mt. Rushmore. I was a bit disappointed that most of this businesses were closed when we got there on April 2, but, it was probably off season. I will likely get there again and will most certainly plan on a stay at the Enchanted Castle. If I do go, I will certainly make sure to let you know so you can show me some of the other unique places in town!!

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