Warmer weather is [finally] here to stay, and with it comes an excuse to get outside and soak up the sun. Jumpstart your summer excursions by checking out some of South Dakota’s best hiking spots.
HARNEY PEAK TRAIL
North Trail (Trail #9), 4.7 miles to Summit
South Trail (Trail #9), 3.8 miles To Summit
To reach the highest natural point in South Dakota, Black Elk Peak, one will hike through the Harney Peak Trail system. Not only is the trail challenging, but it provides breathtaking experiences for outdoor enthusiasts.
GREAT BEAR RECREATION PARK
Approx. 4 mile trail system
Situated near Brandon, Great Bear plays host to skiers and snowboarders in the winter. But during the warmer months, the park’s plethora of trails provide a great place to connect with nature just outside of Sioux Falls.
GOOD EARTH STATE PARK
Approx. 6.22 mile trail system
Located just southeast of Sioux Falls, Good Earth State Park not only boasts plenty of outdoor beauty in the form of wildlife, pipestone, and running water, but also marks one of the oldest sites of long-term human habitation—serving as the largest Oneota cultural site discovered to date in the Upper Midwest.
Approx. 1 mile trail round trip
Whether you’re young or old, hiking through Spearfish Canyon’s Devil’s Bathtub will no doubt be a memorable experience. Be prepared to get your feet wet, as the water can rise pretty high in some places. Don’t forget your camera to snap a few photos of the natural limestone walls.
OAHE DOWNSTREAM RECREATION AREA
Approx. 14 mile trail system
Found along the Missouri in Pierre, the Oahe Downstream Recreation Area is home to an abundance of outdoor activities from hiking and disc golf to boating and camping. Keep your eyes open for a glimpse of a bald eagle, typically perched near the riverbank in the tall cottonwood trees.