Participants from 22 states and the country of Australia will hit the trail with the Fort Seward Wagon Train Monday.

The 2019 edition of the wagon train marks 50 years since its first excursion in 1969 and will travel an area north of Jamestown before looping back Friday to the historic Fort Seward grounds where it started.

Tyler Brown of Central Queensland, Australia, said he was excited for the wagon train and riding horse, which he said would be a new experience for him. Brown was traveling on the wagon train with family of his friend and said there were major differences between the northeast portion of Australia and North Dakota.

"Mostly the weather," he said. "The biggest difference is in Queensland we have hot dry summers and mild winters."

Other participants are trying to recapture a bit of history and connect with family roots.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

"My grandparents made a wagon train ride in the late 1800s," said Bob Springer of Hinkley, Minn., referring to their immigration to a homestead in Brule County, South Dakota. "I'm trying to find out what they went through and I'm going watching the kids."

Springer was traveling with his granddaughter, who made the trip from Oklahoma to North Dakota for the ride.

Others like Avery Roerig, 13, Minnetrista, Minn., were an old hand at having fun on the trail.

"Done this a couple times, sort of every other year," Avery said. "I enjoy it, its really fun overall."

Mary Ann Kaiser, registrar of the wagon train, said the plans call for covering about 85 miles over five days. The trail will be split between time east and west of U.S. Highway 281 and includes time in Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge.