September 13, 2016

The geographic center of North America (which includes the U.S., Canada, Mexico and several small Caribbean countries) is located near the tiny town of Balta, North Dakota – but don't tell the folks in nearby Rugby, North Dakota that.  

Yes, the official geographic center is near Balta (population 65) but the folks in Rugby (population 2,876), which is 15 miles away, have claimed the Geographic Center as their own.  In fact, there's a large concrete obelisk in Rugby marking the supposed "geographic center" situated at the intersection of two major highways.  Hmm... what a convenient location.  

Not only is Rugby larger than Balta but it's also the county seat, so I guess that helps them claim the bragging rights.  But if you question Rugbians, most of them will admit that this place near Balta, off of Highway 3 and six miles down a dirt road, is the actual center.  Despite the debate though, most folks around here, whether they're from Balta or Rugby, don't get too worked up about it.  It's all in good fun.

You can't stand on the geographic center since it's in a small lake.  This is as close as you can get to it – except in the winter, of course, when the lake is frozen!

  • To see my 360-degree panorama photo, click on the photo above.
  • To read about my visit here, see News: September 13, 2016.



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