North Dakota’s Enchanted Highway

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There’s no better time than summer to pack the car with friends, tunes and munchies for an epic road trip, but these summer getaways aren’t always about the destination. When it comes to summer road trips, it’s all about the journey — and you’ll have plenty to enjoy along the way with a trip to North Dakota’s Enchanted Highway.

Quirky travel finds: North Dakota's Enchanted Highway
These larger-than-life fish are known as “Fisherman’s Dream” (Image: amanderson2)

One of the world’s largest collections of scrap metal artwork, the Enchanted Highway in the quaint North Dakota town of Regent delights passersby with an assortment of quirky, larger-than-life sculptures that beg you to stop for a photo op or two. For 32 miles, sculptor Gary Greff’s creations break up the monotony of driving through North Dakota’s Great Plains.

Quirky travel finds: North Dakota's Enchanted Highway
“Fisherman’s Dream” was finished in 2007 and is the most complicated sculpture along the Enchanted Highway (Image: dawnhops)

Greff began creating his sculptures in the early 1990s, hoping to revive his dwindling hometown. The first result was “Tin Family,” made of empty oil drums that welcome visitors to the technically unnamed stretch of highway. Since 1993, the exhibit has claimed the title, “World’s Largest Tin Family.”

Quirky travel finds: North Dakota's Enchanted Highway
Metal fish leap up 70 feet in this metal sculpture (Image: North Dakota Department of Commerce)

Over the years, more metal sculptures joined the installation, and now seven pieces in all line the side of this North Dakota Road. The Tin Family was soon joined by the 60-foot long rooster of “Pheasants on the Prairie” and the gargantuan “Grasshoppers.”

Quirky travel finds: North Dakota's Enchanted Highway
While you’re likely to see pheasants while in North Dakota, they aren’t usually the gargantuan game you’ll find along the Enchanted Highway like this sculpture, “Pheasants on the Prairie” (Image: J24L)
Quirky travel finds: North Dakota's Enchanted Highway
“Pheasants on the Prairie” joined Enchanted Highway in 1998, the second piece in the Enchanted Highway installation (Image: North Dakota Department of Commerce)
Quirky travel finds: North Dakota's Enchanted Highway
While it might look like real birds in the sky from a distance, this sight is actually “Geese in Flight” along the Enchanted Highway (Image: North Dakota Department of Commerce)

Soon, other familiar North Dakota sights joined the fray. “Deer Crossing” was installed in 2002, followed by the leaping fish of “Fisherman’s Dream.” Today, the seven metal sculptures stand tall in the small town of Regent, ready to welcome visitors and make a road trip memory or two.

Quirky travel finds: North Dakota's Enchanted Highway
The whimsical “Grasshoppers” sculpture is a photo op for sure, but this metal sculpture is actually a reminder of the plague that ravaged the crops of North Dakota farmers in the 19th century (Image: North Dakota Department of Commerce)
Quirky travel finds: North Dakota's Enchanted Highway
The world’s largest tin family welcomes visitors along the Enchanted Highway (Image: North Dakota Department of Commerce)

Check out where to find the whimsical sculptures of Enchanted Highway on the North Dakota Department of Commerce website.

(Main image: North Dakota Department of Commerce)

North Dakota’s Enchanted Highway was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Marissa Willman
Author: Marissa Willman (786 posts)

Marissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.