Fall in Love with South Dakota Parks

Posted on 08/17/22 by Mary Michaels

AARP South Dakota invites you to fall in love with the great South Dakota outdoors! Join one of our free guided hikes where you will hear a little South Dakota history while you enjoy a close-up look at beautiful foliage...and maybe even some wildlife. Each hike is located within a South Dakota State Park, and while a park entrance license is required to enter the park, AARP South Dakota will provide any registered participant with a free daily park pass if needed.

Check out the available hikes below and register today!

September 17 at 10 a.m. (Mountain Time) – Custer State Park

Named for the American Legion Post that once leased the land, Legion Lake is a beautiful small lake located in Custer State Park. The Legion Lake Trail offers excellent views of the lake, rock outcroppings and woods. It is an easy to moderate, less than 1-mile loop, with some rocky parts and elevation changes. Comfortable shoes, bug spray, and water are recommended. Register here.

September 24 at 10 a.m. (Central Time) – Good Earth State Park

Good Earth State Park is an important cultural and historical site with abundant wildlife and scenic overlooks. Good Earth at Blood Run, a National Historic Landmark, is one of the oldest sites of long-term human habitation in the United States and was a significant trading center for many tribal peoples from 1300-1700 A.D. The Vista Loop is an easy, just over 1-mile loop with a wide gravel and dirt trail with great views from the lookout decks. Comfortable shoes, bug spray, and water are recommended. Register here.

October 8 at 10 a.m. (Central Time) – Sica Hollow State Park

Peak fall foliage colors are expected during this hike at Sica Hollow State Park! The Hollow’s first Indian visitors named it “Sica,” pronounced (she-cha) meaning evil or bad. Eerie Sioux legends recall mysterious happenings here. Along the Trail of the Sprits, you’ll see gurgling reddish bogs, which Indians saw as the blood and flesh of their ancestors. Indian lore gives new meaning to Sica’s streams, rustic bridges, waterfalls, and wildflowers. The Trail of Spirits is a moderate yet shorter hike with stairs. This narrow dirt trail is less than 1-mile loop and is designated as a National Natural Landmark. Sturdy comfortable shoes, bug spray, water, and a camera to capture the peak fall colors are recommended. This trail is in a valley with limited to no cell service. Register here.

This story is provided by AARP South Dakota. Visit the AARP South Dakota page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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