Nature January 25, 2021
In 2021, Take These 12 Incredible South Dakota Hikes, One For Each Month Of The Year
It’s a new year, which means it is time to sit down and plan out everything you want to see and do in 2021. Is hiking and enjoying the great outdoors on your agenda? Then do yourself a favor and visit all 12 of these incredible South Dakota hikes, one for each month of the year:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Good Earth State Park at Blood Run (Sioux Falls)
When it comes to a wintertime hike, there is no better place to be than the Good Earth State Park at Blood Run, which just so happens to also be one of the newest state parks in South Dakota! Why do we call it one of the best wintertime hikes in the state? Take a second look at the picture and you will understand why.
2. George S. Mickelson Trail (Deadwood)
South Dakota is known for its railroad history, but did you know that some of the old tracks have been converted into a stunning 109-mile path that follows the same route as the original Burlington Northern Railroad? Beginning in Edgemont and ending in Deadwood, the George S. Mickelson Trail is SoDak's first rail-to-trail and welcomes thousands of walkers, hikers, and bikers every year.
3. Black Elk Peak (Pennington County)
Located a mere 3.7 miles southwest of Mount Rushmore, Black Elk Peak is arguably one of the most unique hikes in South Dakota, thanks – in part – to the turn-of-the-20th-century old stone fire tower at the top of the mountain. While climbing the peak may seem daunting, it is actually billed as moderate as the incline is low and slow (but the distance is long with a grueling elevation gain).
4. Sheridan Lake Flume Trail (Rapid City)
We will admit that the Sheridan Lake Flume Trail is not for the faint of heart, as it spans a whopping 13 miles; however, visitors can create their own path via Flume's 3 different sections, all of which contain wildlife, tunnels, and caves.
5. Notch Trail (Badlands National Park, Interior)
You know we couldn't have a list of the best hikes in South Dakota without mentioning the Badlands! Spanning 1.3 miles, Notch is an out-and-back trail that is also the most popular in the Park, thanks to its jaw-dropping views of the area's majestic spires and surrounding landscape.
6. Ingersoll Mine (Keystone)
We mentioned South Dakota's railroad history, so now it is time to discuss our rich mining past, which can be seen firsthand at the Ingersoll Mine. Located near Keystone, the Ingersoll Mine sits at the end of a short and sweet trail and boasts its original architecture and machinery, making it a one-of-a-kind South Dakota hike!
7. Cascade Falls (Hot Springs)
In the summertime, when the weather is high, there is no better hike than the short and sweet Cascade Falls trail, which leads straight to a warm, 67-degree spring-fed swimming hole. Even better than the reward at the end (AKA the swimming hole) may be the fact that the trail is short and sweet.
8. Spearfish Falls (Spearfish)
Who says that you have to work hard to reap the rewards? This is obviously not the case with Spearfish Falls, which can be viewed from the Spearfish Canyon Highway (Highway 14A), but can also be seen closer up should you choose to venture out of your car and down a short trail.
9. Presidential Loop Trail (Keystone)
If you have ever visited Mount Rushmore, there is a good chance you have taken the Presidential Trail, which winds a mere half-mile through the park. Why is it called the Presidential Trail, you (hypothetically) ask? It is because it also offers a closer and better view of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Honest Abe.
10. Trail of Spirits (Sica Hollow State Park, Sisseton)
If the spookiest month of the year has you longing for an equally scary hike, the Trail of Spirits at Sica Hollow State Park is the place for you. Translating to "bad or evil" in Dakota Sioux, Sica Hollow is said to be home to numerous unexplainable occurrences, including red-tinted water that once gushed out of the springs, the sound of drums, and sighting of mysterious figures when no one else is around, and the eerie disappearances of several people who were never found.
11. Devil’s Gulch (Garreston)
There is only one word that can properly describe the 1/2-mile trail: legendary! Located near Garreston, Devil's Gulch is legendary thanks to its beautiful landscape, but it is the story surrounding the area that makes it even better, as Jesse James is said to have once dived into the river from the bridge during an escape from law enforcement.
12. Falls Park (Sioux Falls)
For even more of our favorite South Dakota hikes, check out
The 10 Gorgeous Hikes Everyone In South Dakota Must Complete. Address: 44950 Park Road, Sisseton, SD 57260, USA Address: Devils Gulch, Garretson, SD 57030, USA Address: South Dakota, USA Address: Mt Rushmore, Mount Rushmore UT, SD 57751, USA Address: 26924 480th Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57108, USA Address: Ingersoll Mine, Mount Rushmore UT, SD 57751, USA Address: Sheridan Lake, Mount Rushmore UT, SD 57702, USA Address: George S. Mickelson Trail, Deadwood, SD, USA Address: Spearfish Falls, North Lawrence, SD 57754, USA Address: Black Elk Peak, Mount Rushmore UT, SD 57751, USA Address: Cascade Falls, Northeast Fall River, SD 57747, USA Address: E Falls Park Dr, Sioux Falls, SD, USA