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Homeschooling in South Dakota:

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Field Trips

by Mary Ann Kelley

South Dakota Homeschool Field Trips

Field trips are listed alphabetically by city.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Lewis & Clark, in their quest for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, opened a window onto the west for the young United States.

Richmond Lake Recreation AreaAberdeen

Three separate areas in this park cater to the needs of campers, swimmers, naturalists, boaters and anglers. Campers stay in the South Unit, while the 200-acre Forest Drive Unit is a great place for wildlife viewing. The Boat Ramp Unit provides access to the more than 1,000-acre lake.

Lake Poinsett Recreation AreaArlington

One of the largest lakes in the state, Lake Poinsett was named after Joel Poinsett who served as U.S. Secretary of War. He was instrumental in promoting the expedition of Joseph Nicollet and John Fremont who first explored the region in 1838. The party camped on the north side of Lake Poinsett. Today, the lakeshore still provides excellent camping opportunities, as well as many other recreational activities.

Rocky Point Recreation AreaBelle Fourche

The 8,000-acre Belle Fourche Reservoir was created in 1911, when Orman Dam was constructed to store water for agricultural use. At the time of its completion, Orman Dam was the largest earthen dam in the world. In 1989, Orman Dam was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Rocky Point is the newest park in the South Dakota state park system, and opened in 2006.

Union Grove State ParkBeresford

Rich glacial soils supporting a lush growth of native woods is the scenic setting for this hidden treasure. Horseback riders, hikers, bikers and cross-country skiers enjoy several miles of trail through the forest along Brule Creek. The trees and plants attract a variety of birds sure to keep botanists and birdwatchers entertained for hours. Campers enjoy the quiet well-shaded campsites and the horse camp is the perfect base for a weekend of riding.

Big Sioux Recreation AreaBrandon

Big Sioux Recreation Area lies on the banks of South Dakota's Big Sioux River. Close to both the cities of Brandon and Sioux Falls, Big Sioux is an ideal place to camp when in the area for sporting events, hospital visits or conferences. Big Sioux is popular among campers, canoers, history buffs and archers. When the snow flies, groups of cross-country skiers and snowmobilers gather at the enclosed warming house.

South Dakota Art MuseumBrookings

Since 1970, the South Dakota Art Museum has been a place for people from many different parts of the world to enjoy the artistic legacy of South Dakota in all its diversity. Permanent galleries, changing exhibitions, publications, lectures, workshops and guided tours provide the public, artists, university students and faculty with a variety of opportunities to learn about art and engage in the centuries-old dialogue between artist and viewer. The Museum features 6 spacious galleries, the Museum Store and the Kid's Sensation Station.

Oakwood Lakes State ParkBruce

Nestled among eight connecting glacial lakes, this park provides a never-ending variety of activities throughout the year, from hiking and swimming, to ice fishing and cross-country skiing. Shaded campgrounds and picnic areas complement the park's excellent swimming and boating facilities. The park was once used as a summer camp and an annual gathering spot for American Indians. Later, Samuel Mortimer arrived in 1869 and built the log cabin that still stands at the park. The visitor center showcases an archeology display of items found in the area

Buryanek Recreation AreaBurke

According to history, American Indian people had encampments in this area. In 1804, George Shannon of the Lewis and Clark expedition was found near the area after being lost for 16 days. Years later, Gregory County began mining gravel from the site. Campground development started in the early 1990s and now Buryanek takes its place as one of the great state parks along the Missouri River.

Lake Vermillion Recreation AreaCanistota

Lake Vermillion Recreation Area is a popular area for fishermen, boaters and swimmers. During the fall, sportsmen can find waterfowl and upland game within minutes from the park, making it an ideal hunting camp. This 512 acre reservoir is located 27 miles west of Sioux Falls.

Newton Hills State ParkCanton

Glaciers created this narrow strip of rolling hills and forest that is part of the geological formation called the Coteau des Prairie, which extends along the eastern boundary of South Dakota. At its highest point, the Coteau rises to more than 2,000 feet above sea level. Artifacts and burial mounds found near the park indicate that a Woodland Indian Culture inhabited this region between 300 B.C. and 900 A.D. The area's unique dark forest, amidst a vast open prairie, has prompted many recent legends, including of buried gold, robbers' hideouts and horse thieves.

Big Stone Island Nature AreaCorona

An 1823 expedition led by Major Stephan Long and geologist William Keating explored the Big Stone Lake region. Shortly after entering present-day South Dakota, they met an American Indian village. Keating wrote in his journal that "The village ... consisted of 30 skin lodges... This permanent residence is on a rocky island (Big Island) ... they cultivate their cornfields secure against aggression of their enemies. "This island is now the 100-acre nature area.

Hartford Beach State ParkCorona

Big Stone Lake provides the setting for this popular camping and picnic area nestled in the shade of a native wooded forest. Along the many hiking trails, you can observe wildlife, prairie plants and scenic vistas.

Jewel Cave National MonumentCuster

Discover Buried Treasure in Jewel Cave. At 143 miles, Jewel Cave is the second longest cave in the world. It is filled with calcite crystals and other wonders that make up the "jewels" of Jewel Cave National Monument.

Custer State ParkCuster

Virtual field trip onlineFilmed in the Black Hills of South Dakota! National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic HomesDe Smet

From Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society

Historic Adams HouseDeadwood

The Adams Museum's leadership in historic preservation led naturally to its involvement in restoring the Victorian home of two of Deadwood's founding families, including the Adams Museum's founder W.E. Adams. Built in 1892, the Queen Anne-style home with its oak interiors, hand-painted canvas wall coverings, stained glass windows, thoroughly modern 19th century plumbing, electricity and telephone service and original furnishings sat silent for almost 60 years after W.E. Adams' death in 1934, when his second wife Mary Adams closed the doors. Mrs. Adams left everything intact from the sheet music in the piano bench, the books in the library, the china in the pantry, to the patent medicines in the bathroom, the gilded settee in the parlor and even the cookies in a cookie jar. The home was purchased by the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission in 1992.

Adams MuseumDeadwood

Deadwood's Adams Museum is considered the Black Hills' oldest history museum. Artifacts on display from Deadwood's infamous past reflect the powerful legends of Wild Bill, Calamity Jane and Deadwood Dick. From a one-of-a-kind plesiosaur, the Thoen Stone and W.E. Adams' love letters to a lively folk art collection, Lakota bead and quill work and Potato Creek Johnny's gold nugget; the Adams Museum exhibits capture the mysteries, the tragedies, the bawdiness and the dreams found in the history, art and natural history of the Black Hills.

Homestake Adams Research and Cultural CenterDeadwood

The Homestake Adams Research and Cultural Center (HARCC) has the opportunity to protect and make accessible for the first time ever the history of the Homestake Mining Company. The 10,000 cubic foot Homestake Mining Company archival collection is of national significance. While there are many aspects that make the Homestake Mining Company unique, it is also representative of an industry of iconic proportions that dominated and helped settle much of Western America. Mining deeds, land claims, mineral surveys, annual reports, exploration and production records, photographs, assay ledgers, timber contracts and a plethora of other mining-related documents, dating from 1876 to 2002, detail the company's 126-year history in Lead, South Dakota and far beyond.

Fisher Grove State ParkFrankfort

The first crossing for the Watertown-to-Pierre stage line crossed the river here on American Indians' traditional rock river crossing. Belchers Ford, as the site was called, had a hotel for tourists. The park is named after Frank I. Fisher, the first permanent European settler in Spink County who lived at this site. A restored country school at the park reminds visitors of earlier times.

Okobojo Point Recreation AreaFt. Pierre

Scenic rolling hills, wide expanses of prairie, and one of the most outstanding vistas along the Missouri River await those who love the outdoors. Spend a day, a weekend or week relaxing in this quiet, scenic, almost wilderness area. The miles of sandy beach invite park visitors to play in the water, enjoy a volleyball game, try some shore fishing and walk near the river wave.

Oahe Downstream Recreation AreaFt. Pierre

The park's three campgrounds give visitors a variety of recreational opportunities, from boating to hiking to disc golf. During the winter, bird watchers can view bald eagles, which roost in the treetops below the dam. The Corps of Engineers began building the dam in 1948 and in 1962 started generating electricity. It's one of the largest constructed reservoirs in the United States, measuring 231 miles connecting the capital cities of South Dakota and North Dakota.

Spring Creek Recreation AreaFt. Pierre

A day-use park, Spring Creek offers water-lovers access to the Oahe Reservoir. Fishermen try to catch walleye, sauger, northern pike and more, both off shore and from boat. Others just listen to the waves as they crash along the shore.

Palisades State ParkGarretson

Unusual terrain and a colorful past make Palisades State Park one of the most unique areas in South Dakota. Split Rock Creek, which flows through the park, is lined with Sioux quartzite formations varying from shelves several feet above the water to 50-foot vertical cliffs. Scenic overlooks and rushing water make Palisades a popular getaway. The park is popular among campers, sightseers, picnickers, rock climbers and hikers.

Lake Cochrane Recreation AreaGary

Nestled between Lake Cochrane and Lake Oliver is an 88-acre playground for campers, anglers, boaters and those who simply enjoy the outdoors. Both the quality of the park and the clear, spring-fed lake bring people to this area. Lake Cochrane was named for the area's first homesteader, Byron J. Cochrane, who settled on the south side of the lake in 1872. The area's rich farmlands and attractive setting soon attracted other homesteaders.

North Wheeler Recreation AreaGeddes

This small, quiet park is a great get-away for those seeking to relax. And, if your idea of relaxation involves a fishing pole, North Wheeler aims to please. With lake access between Pease Creek and Platte Creek, visitors can spend their days on the water and their night relaxing in the campground.

Pease Creek Recreation AreaGeddes

With almost 600 acres to explore and easy access to the Missouri River's Lake Francis Case for great fishing, Pease Creek has become a popular day use and camping park. The wooded terrain provides both for shaded campsites and hiking opportunities on the bluffs above Lake Francis Case.

Swan Creek Recreation AreaGettysburg

Situated on the rolling prairie bluffs, the east and west campgrounds provide anglers the opportunity to stay overnight. Two ramps offer access to Lake Oahe for boating and fishing fun.

West Whitlock Recreation AreaGettysburg

A popular campsite for the Arikara and Mandan people in the past, West Whitlock now draws modern-day campers and fishermen to its shores. When the area became a park, it was named for Mrs. J.F. Whitlock, whose pioneering family once owned the land. Whitlock Crossing was the name given to a small settlement that operated a ferry across the river near the area.

Pickerel Lake Recreation AreaGrenville

Situated in the heart of the Glacial Lakes Region, Pickerel Lake offers 77 campsites in two campgrounds and access to excellent fishing waters. The swimming beaches are popular spots during hot summer days. A hiking trail in each campground introduces you to the park's many plants and animals.

West Bend Recreation AreaHarold

Excellent walleye and small mouth bass fishing is supported by a relatively stable lake level and cool water temperatures. With most fishing done from boats, the protected marina offers convenient boat launching, regardless of the wind direction. Add shaded campgrounds and showers, and this park is a dream come true. In the autumn, hunters use this as a base camp to hunt pheasants and Canada geese.

Lake Alvin Recreation AreaHarrisburg

Although small in size, Lake Alvin has become a very popular area. This 59-acre park is best known for its beach facilities and excellent fishing. Its proximity to both Sioux Falls and Newton Hills State Park make it a great place to enjoy a day on the beach.

Wind Cave National ParkHot Springs

One of the world's longest and most complex caves and 28,295 acres of mixed-grass prairie, ponderosa pine forest, and associated wildlife are the main features of the park. The cave is well known for its outstanding display of boxwork, an unusual cave formation composed of thin calcite fins resembling honeycombs. The park's mixed-grass prairie is one of the few remaining and is home to native wildlife such as bison, elk, pronghorn, mule deer, coyotes, and prairie dogs.

Angostura Recreation AreaHot Springs

Angostura Reservoir is a water-lover's haven in the southern Black Hills. With plenty of room for boating, fishing and swimming, this recreation area attracts visitors to its clear waters and natural sand beaches. The dam was built in 1949 by the Bureau of Reclamation across the Cheyenne River for irrigation purposes but paved the way for recreation. The word "angostura" is Spanish for "narrows."

Badlands National ParkInterior

Containing the world's richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds, dating 37-28 million years old, the evolutionary stories of mammals such as the horse and rhinoceros arise from the 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires. Bison, bighorn sheep, endangered black-footed ferrets, and swift fox roam one of the largest, protected mixed-grass prairies in the United States.

Mount Rushmore National MemorialKeystone

More Than a Mountain Carving - Mount Rushmore is most famous for the faces of the four presidents carved on the mountain, but there is a lot more to Mount Rushmore than that! Did you know there are many different species of wildflowers that bloom along the walking paths in the park? Would you like to learn more about these flowers and how the Native Americans used them?

North Point Recreation AreaLake Andes

Located on the shores of the Missouri River, just above Fort Randall Dam, the park provides a spectacular river view. Lewis and Clark came up the river in late-August, early-September in 1804. In this area, they saw their first prairie dogs, which they called "barking squirrels." They were also told to watch for an infrequent phenomenon called "burning bluffs," where the shale ignites and smokes.

Fort Sisseton State Historical ParkLake City

Walk the grounds where the officers' quarters, stone barracks, powder magazine, guard house, and other buildings remain at frontier Fort Sisseton. This 1864 fort, atop the Coteau des Prairies (or hills of the prairies), is a rare reminder of the western frontier. The fort's name comes from the nearby Sisseton Indian Tribe, and it is now a picturesque state park that unfolds the area's history

Roy Lake State ParkLake City

Roy Lake is known for its excellent walleye, bass, panfish, and pike fishing, but you don't have to be an angler to enjoy all this park has to offer. Visitors will find sandy beaches, campgrounds, picnic areas, boat ramps and a variety of trails to keep them busy. A resort offers conveniences like groceries and bait, as well as boat rentals and cabins to enhance your stay.

Lake Thompson Recreation AreaLake Preston

Originally called Dry Woods Lake by American Indians, the lake was renamed for Jacob Thompson, Secretary of the Interior under President James Buchanan. The lake is mentioned as Twin Lakes in many of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, including By the Shores of Silver Lake and The Long Winter. In the 1930s, the lake was completely dry and used for pasture. In 1980s, the area was a 9,000-acre marsh. Heavy rains and snowmelt in the mid 80s filled the lake to over 20 feet deep and now covers 18,000 acres in Kingsbury County. The lake is so distinct it was designated as a National Natural Landmark.

George S. Mickelson TrailLead

Imagine a path where the ghosts of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane still roam. A path where bicyclists, hikers and horseback riders can explore spruce and ponderosa pine forests. And, a path accessible to the very young, the very old and people of all abilities.

Lake Herman State ParkMadison

Located on a peninsula, Lake Herman State Park offers visitors spectacular views of Lake Herman. Melting glacial ice formed this 1,350-acre lake thousands of years ago. Now, camping, boating, fishing, and cross country skiing are favorite activities at the park. Wildlife observation is aided by the native oak woodlands and prairie grasses that blend to create a lush savanna in the natural areas of the park. Most of the trees are native, while others were planted to provide convenient camping and hiking areas, as well as provide habitat for the variety of birds and animals that live in the park.

Adams Homestead and Nature PreserveMcCook Lake

Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Spanning 1,500 acres along the Missouri River, this area was donated to the people of South Dakota in 1984 by Mary and Maud Adams, granddaughters of original homesteader Stephen Searl Adams. They envisioned the area as a place where others, particularly youth, could enjoy the land and learn more about the natural world surrounding them. Mary and Maud wanted to give others a "place for inner renewal."

Lake Louise Recreation AreaMiller

Lake Louise was made in 1932, when the south fork of Wolf Creek was dammed. Water depth in this 164-acre impoundment averages nine feet, with a maximum depth of 25 feet. Panfish are a popular catch here. Anglers and hunters come to this area for its abundant game. The park is located in the heart of pheasant and duck country, making it an ideal place to set up camp.

Mina Lake Recreation AreaMina

Nestled along the wooded shores of Mina Lake, Mina Recreation Area is is a water-lover's haven with plenty of room for boating, fishing and swimming. When you leave the water, a spacious campground, hiking trail, and several picnic areas will provide hours of family fun.

Indian Creek Recreation AreaMobridge

The rolling hills and beautiful river views make this park an excellent place to camp picnic and explore. Park visitors will find new adventure in this rugged land explored by Lewis and Clark in 1804. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, cowboys used the area to fatten thousands of cattle for shipment south

Revheim Bay Recreation AreaMobridge

For a day on the beachfront, Revheim Bay offers a great way to spend your time. Whether you're working up a sweat playing volleyball in the sand, winding down with a game of horseshoes, or relaxing as you watch the sun set behind the large rolling hills, you're sure to find an activity that fits your pace.

West Pollock Recreation AreaMobridge

The town of Pollock and the recreation area are both named after a pioneer lay minister and respected citizen of the area, R.Y. Pollock. Anglers enjoy this recreation area as a prime location to stay when fishing for walleyes and an abundance of other Lake Oahe fish. The boat ramp provides easy access to the water. In the fall, pheasant, grouse and waterfowl hunters come to camp.

Minuteman Missile National Historic SitePhilip

Ace In The Hole - Here you will find remnants of the Cold War, including an underground launch control center and a missile silo. Minuteman missiles held the power to destroy civilization. Yet the same destructive force acted as a deterrent which kept the peace for three decades. At Minuteman Missile it is possible to revisit the Cold War and learn how nuclear war came to haunt the world.

Randall Creek Recreation AreaPickstown

On the banks of the Missouri River, immediately downstream from Fort Randall Dam, hours can be spent peacefully watching the water flow, observing the animals and birds that frequent the area, and enjoying he breathtaking beauty of the surrounding shoreline. The US Army Corps of Engineers began building the dam in 1946 and started generating electricity in 1954.

Farm Island Recreation AreaPierre

Located east of Pierre, Farm Island attracts all types of visitors ... campers, swimmers, hikers, anglers, bird watchers and bicyclists. With easy access to Lake Sharpe and popular beaches and trails, this park stays busy throughout the year. Additionally, the park has ties to the Lewis and Clark expedition, which is detailed in the new Lewis and Clark family center.

LaFramboise Island Nature AreaPierre

LaFramboise Island Nature Area is a unique area along the Missouri River in the Pierre Area. The island is covered in trees and meadows, which are home to a variety of wildlife and bird species. Additionally, the island is mentioned in the Lewis and Clark journals as they passed through the area in 1804.

Red Cloud MuseumPine Ridge

The Heritage Center of Red Cloud Indian School opened as a museum in 1982. It offers to the public - local, national, and international - an outstanding collection of Native American fine arts and Lakota tribal arts, located on the main campus of Red Cloud Indian School. One of the early successful museums located on an Indian reservation, The Heritage Center's fine arts collection includes over two thousand paintings, drawings, and sculptures representing a large number of different Native American tribal traditions. Its tribal arts collection concentrates on traditional Lakota arts and history.

Burke Lake Recreation AreaPlatte

Like an oasis on the prairie, this area has a 25-acre lake which is surrounded by trees. Whether boating, sailing or canoeing, visitors will enjoy this lake that averages only eight feet in depth. Native and introduced prairie grasses and wildflowers abound in the 206-acre park, and wildlife of all kinds inhabit this unique area.

Platte Creek Recreation AreaPlatte

Fishing and water recreation draws a quieter crowd to Platte Creek Recreation Area to enjoy Lake Francis Case on the Missouri River. Visitors to Platte Creek RA enjoy natural features similar to those at Snake Creek RA, but from a quieter campground with similar amenities.

Snake Creek Recreation AreaPlatte

Lake Francis Case draws visitors to Snake Creek Recreation Area. The park is popular with boaters and anglers, as well those looking for scenic beauty along the Missouri River. History buffs will enjoy knowing that the Lewis and Clark expedition traveled through the area, where they were told to watch for "burning bluffs" along the river.

Journey MuseumRapid City

Virtual field trip onlineThe Journey Museum takes you on an incredible trek through time, from the violent upheaval that formed the mystical Black Hills over 2.5 billion years ago to the continuing saga of the Western Frontier. When your journey is complete, you will fully understand the legacy of the land and its people. Planetarium on site.

Lake Hiddenwood Recreation AreaSelby

Melting glaciers carved the valley of Hiddenwood Creek. Traditionally, this area was home for several American Indian tribes. Early explorers crossed this area on their way between Big Stone Lake and the Rocky Mountains. The first European settlers named the area because no trees were visible on the vast prairie until they reached the crest of the hills overlooking the valley. In 1927, the Department of Game and Fish used a new technique called an earthen dam to make Lake Hiddenwood, one of the first artificial lakes in South Dakota.

Little Moreau Recreation AreaShadehill

The watersheds of the Moreau and Little Moreau Rivers once provided winter campgrounds for the Cheyenne, the Minneconjou, and Two Kettle bands of Teton Sioux. Grassland attracted the first European settlers to the Moreau Valley. During the late 1870s through 1890s, cattle barons from southern states grazed thousands of cattle on this rich grassland. Today visitors can enjoy campgrounds, picnic shelters, and a boat ramp while enjoying area plants and wildlife.

Llewellyn Johns Recreation AreaShadehill

A small, get-away park, Llewellyn Johns' ten first-come, first-served campsites offer spur-of-the-moment camping. Nearby Shadehill Recreation Area offers recreational opportunities as well as points of historical interest to keep you busy all day. Or, if you prefer peace and quiet, this is a great campground to just sit back and relax.

Shadehill Recreation AreaShadehill

Nestled on the shores of Shadehill Reservoir, the park offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy land- and water-based activities. The reservoir is one of western South Dakota's few large lakes. The dam, built in 1951 by the Bureau of Reclamation, creates more than 5,000 surface acres of water creating fun for everyone.

Old Courthouse Museum Sioux Falls

The building is constructed of native Sioux Quartzite stone, a popular local building material of the late 19th century. When completed in 1893, Dow claimed the structure would be the "largest courthouse between Chicago and Denver." Interior courthouse features include slate stairs, granite pillars, stained glass windows, and tiled fireplaces. Perhaps one of the most striking features of the building is the 16 large murals on the walls of the hallways painted between 1915 and 1917. Painted by Norwegian immigrant Ole Running, the murals detail early life in Dakota, natural features, and images of his home in Norway. Today, you can visit three floors of public exhibit space that provide a colorful look at the region's history.

Pettigrew Home and MuseumSioux Falls

One of R.F. Pettigrew's passions was his collecting. He was a world traveler and amateur archaeologist. His holdings led him to build his own museum on the rear of his home that opened to the public in 1925. Artifacts such as stone tools, projectile points, Native American clothing, guns, natural history specimens, and items related to the settlement of Sioux Falls all were included. When he died in 1926, he left his home and museum to the city of Sioux Falls to be maintained as a museum.

Sica Hollow State ParkSisseton

These rolling hills were left after the last glacier receded less than 20,000 years ago. It is easy to understand why these hills, located in the middle of the plains, were held in awe by ancient Indian tribes. Through the centuries, these hills become the subject of many legends. A journey through the area still reveals the natural occurrences that fueled the legends.

High Plains Western Heritage CenterSpearfish

The High Plains Western Heritage Center includes a Five-State Regional Museum founded to honor the old west pioneers of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming & Nebraska. View quality exhibits of Western art, Artifacts & Memorabilia including the original Spearfish to Deadwood Stagecoach, turn-of-the-century Kitchen, Saddle Shop & a Blacksmith Shop. Forestry, Mining, Ranching & Rodeo are also depicted. Outdoor displays feature a furnished Log Cabin, rural Schoolhouse & antique Farm Equipment.

Springfield Recreation AreaSpringfield

Nestled along the shore with breathtaking views of the Missouri River, park visitors experience friendly, small-town America. A bike trail connects the park to the town of Springfield for easy access for groceries and other supplies. Adjacent to the park overlooking the river is a beautiful nine-hole golf course.

Bear Butte State ParkSturgis

Mato Paha or "Bear Mountain" is the Lakota name given to this site. To the Cheyenne, it is "Noahvose." This geological formation is one of several intrusions of igneous rock in the Black Hills that formed millions of years ago. The mountain is sacred to many American Indian tribes who come here to hold religious ceremonies. Please be respectful of worshippers and their religious practices

Beaver Creek Nature AreaValley Springs

Developed to increase environmental awareness in visitors, Beaver Creek Nature Area highlights natural and historical resources in the vicinity. Pioneers named the creek for the numerous beaver they found along the winding spring-fed stream. The stream flows year-round, supplying the numerous plants and animals with water, and in turn, supplying visitors with opportunities to observe nature up-close.

Spirit Mound Historic PrairieVermillion

Having heard legends of little spirits living at Paha Wakan, now know as Spirit Mound, the Lewis and Clark expedition was intrigued. On August 25, 1804, while the rest of the expedition went on up the river, Captains Lewis and Clark took several men and Lewis' dog, Seaman, on a nine mile walk to Spirit Mound. Seaman, suffering from the heat, had to be sent back to the Vermillion River. Despite the rumors of danger, the men approached the hill and climbed to the summit. The men were deeply impressed by the view.

National Music MuseumVermillion

Founded in 1973 on the campus of The University of South Dakota in Vermillion, the National Music Museum (NMM) & Center for Study of the History of Musical Instruments is one of the great institutions of its kind in the world. Its renowned collections, which include more than 14,800 American, European, and non-Western instruments from virtually all cultures and historical periods, are the most inclusive anywhere.

Pelican Lake Recreation AreaWatertown

For those who enjoy a wide variety of activities, Pelican Lake is the place to come. Nestled among a grove of conifer trees, campers can enjoy the shade while still being close to the sandy beach, prairie trails and the boat dock. Naturalists enjoy the migrating birds and vast numbers of prairie grasses and wildflowers. Winter enthusiasts appreciate the park's cross-country ski trails, snowshoeing and ice fishing.

Sandy Shore Recreation AreaWatertown

On the banks of Lake Kampeska, Sandy Shore offers just that ... a long, sandy beach. The beach is a great place to enjoy Lake Kampeska, which is a glacial lake named for its clear water. Early homesteaders settled along the shores of the lake. Had it not been for an invasion of grasshoppers that destroyed the first crops, Watertown probably would have been built closer to the lake.

Walker's Point Recreation AreaWentworth

Tucked along the shore of Lake Madison, this small but complete park meets the many needs of campers and anglers. Campsites are located near the water and many offer picturesque views of the 2,800-acre lake.

Missouri National Recreational RiverYankton

A Great American Riverway - The Missouri has a history like no other river. Explore the great waterway of American Indians, fur trappers, Lewis and Clark, and many others. Experience the dynamic character of the river's ever-changing nature. View the natural beauty of the "rec river" along 100 miles of the Nebraska-South Dakota border. Listen for the eerie screech of the majestic bald eagle or the splash of a trophy fish.

Chief White Crane Recreation AreaYankton

On the shores of Lake Yankton, Chief White Crane is in close proximity to the Missouri River and Gavins Point Dam. The park was named after Chief White Crane who met with Lewis and Clark in this area in 1804. The park has an abundance of large, mature cottonwood trees that provide excellent shade for the campground and serve as a place for bald eagles to roost during the winter.

Lewis and Clark Recreation AreaYankton

Lewis and Clark Lake, near Yankton, is one of the state park system's most popular resort parks. Three separate units comprise this modern recreation area, attracting visitors from throughout the Midwest. Modern resort facilities - from marinas to camping cabins to sandy beaches - attract water lovers to Lewis and Clark.

Pierson Ranch Recreation AreaYankton

Convenience is the key word for this park. Right off Highway 52, the park provides easy access to four picnic shelters and 67 campsites. In addition, the large day-use area serves as an excellent facility for hosting family reunions and large group picnics. The playground equipment, bike trail and basketball/tennis court add to its popularity.

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