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McDowell Dam Recreation Area

By | Last Modified: August 13, 2017

McDowell Dam is a manmade recreation area located east of Bismarck, about one mile north of the Apple Creek Country Club. The area is named after local entrepreneur Harley McDowell, who donated the land to Burleigh County in the early 1970s under the condition that it would be developed for recreational use.

The dam and surrounding area were constructed at a cost of $700,000, and has since become a popular destination for fishing and swimming, attracting up to 80,000 visitors each year.

Harley McDowell is best known for founding Bismarck’s Big Boy Restaurant.

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