If you think that our state parks are only reserved for a warm, Summer day, think again! Many of South Dakota’s state parks and recreational areas are downright lovely during the winter months. They also offer exciting opportunities for winter sports, bird watching, camping and so much more. So load up your winter gear, gather your loved ones, and embark on a wintertime adventure at one of our amazing South Dakota parks.
1. Custer State Park, Custer.
Travel to this spectacular state park and explore 71,000 acres of trails, gorgeous vistas, and pristine lakes. The best part? It’s open year-round, meaning you can enjoy this Black Hills region even in the winter. Partake in cross-country skiing or snowshoeing or embark on a Jeep Safari tour to view the diverse wildlife.
2. Snake Creek Recreation Area, Platte.
This serene, winter wonderland environment is ideal for bird watching. The park’s 18 miles of nature trails also provide the perfect opportunity for visitors to try their hand at skiing.
3. North Point and Randall Creek Recreation Areas, Lake Andes.
Although you won’t be able to soak up the sun on the beach this time of year, you can still gaze at the spectacular beauty of the shoreline. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, plenty of activities await, including ice-fishing, snowmobiling and skiing.
4. North Point and Randall Creek Recreation Areas, Lake Andes.
Don’t let the wintery weather stop you from making a reservation to stay at Farm Island Recreation Area. This state park, as well as its breathtaking sunsets, are available for you to enjoy year-round.
5. Palisades State Park, Garretson.
This state park may be the second smallest in the state, but it is certainly known for its distinctive terrain and jaw-dropping views. Devil’s Gulch and the various Sioux quartzite formations are downright stunning with a blanket of snow. Explore the vast nature and enjoy the solitude of this wintertime getaway
6. Pelican Lake, Sandy Shore and Lake Cochrane Recreation Areas, Watertown.
If you’re a winter enthusiast, you will have a ball making use of this park’s cross-country ski trails. Visitors can also climb the observation tower and marvel at a breathtaking view of wintery scenery.
7. Oakwood Lakes State Park, Bruce.
Oakwood Lakes State Park is another destination open year-round. Surrounded by 8 connecting lakes, this park provides plenty of fun-filled activities during the winter months including hiking, ice-fishing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. After a day full of winter adventure, fall asleep in their heated camping cabins.
8. Wind Cave National Park, Hot Springs.
Wind Cave National Park is currently blanketed with a majestic layer of snowfall. As one of America’s oldest parks, it is a must see during the winter season. (While technically a national park, this destination is simply too gorgeous to not include on this list.)
Have you ever experienced any of these parks during the winter months? We would love to hear about your experience in the comment section below!