South Dakota February 06, 2017
The Ultimate Bucket List For Anyone In South Dakota Who Loves The Outdoors
If you love the outdoors, then you’re truly lucky to live in South Dakota, because here in the Mount Rushmore State, there’s always plenty of opportunity for adventure and exploration! Get some fresh air, lace up your tennis shoes and check out these 11 South Dakota spots. As always, they’re in no particular order and they definitely vary in terms of the strenuous effort required.
1. Hike to the top of Black Elk Peak
Formerly known as Harney Peak, Black Elk Peak is the highest natural point in South Dakota. Accessible through the Sylvan Lake Day use area, the trail begins as a light stroll through the forest and becomes more vigorous once you get closer to the summit. When you make it to the top, you can enjoy a truly jaw-dropping view of The Black Hills National Forest, a sight everyone definitely needs to experience at least once.
2. Spend the day at Sylvan Lake
Speaking of Sylvan Lake, this is a beautiful place to go for a leisurely walk or to just sit back and enjoy the picturesque scenery.
3. Explore McCrory Garden
This gigantic botanical garden in Brookings features over 25 acres of formal display gardens and hundreds of different flowers, trees, shrubs and grasses. Spend a day exploring the lovely scenery, and you’ll feel as though you’re in paradise.
4. Bike Sioux Falls Trail Loop
This moderate trail will take you through most of Sioux Falls, following along the Big Sioux River for 19 miles. Eventually you will find your way to the gorgeous Falls Park where you can enjoy a spectacular view from the observation tower.
5. Marvel at the beauty of the Badlands at the overlook
Chris Ford / Flickr
This easily accessible overlook will provide you with truly impressive views of the amazing geologic formations. Be sure you have your camera in tow, because you’ll feel as if you’re not even on your home planet, let alone home state.
6. Visit Wind Cave National Park
Wind Cave National Park / Facebook
View the bison, elk, and other various types of wildlife as they freely roam the prairie. This national park is also home to Wind Cave, not only one of the longest caves in the world, but also one of the most complex.
7. Conquer the George S. Mickelson State Trail
Jordan Wilms / Flickr
The Mickelson trail is approximately 109 miles in length winding all the way from Edgemont to Deadwood. It’s just slightly over 700’ in gradual elevation, so you can be assured that it’s not too strenuous. This well-maintained trail will take you through some of the most beautiful areas of the hills, with plenty of restaurants and places to stay along the way!
8. Explore the lovely wonders of Spearfish Canyon
You absolutely can’t miss Spearfish Canyon. Gorgeous any time of the year (especially during autumn) this area is an absolute state gem. Some of the highlights in the area include Bridal Veil Falls Roughlock Falls, Devil’s Bathtub and so much more.
9. Meander through Good Earth State Park
This hidden gem of South Dakota is so stunning that it should be on everyone’s must-see list. From hiking trails to wonderful views of the Big Sioux, it’s a place that you will forever remember.
10. Hike Bear Butte
The naturally stunning scenery that surrounds Bear Butte will absolutely leave you breathless. Take the 3.6 mile hike to the top, climb up the wooden stairs that lead to the deck, and stand in awe of the beauty below you.
11. Camp at Lewis & Clark Recreation Area
You’ll be able to choose between 3 different campsites at this popular recreational area. From canoeing, waterskiing, fishing, swimming and hiking, you’ll have plenty of options and plenty of activities to keep you busy.
What’s your favorite place on the list? As always, let us know your thoughts in the comment section!