|One of the many rock tunnels inside Custer State Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
PIERRE, S.D. – Summer is near, and South Dakota state parks are offering several ways to enjoy time outside on the first weekend in June.
During the weekend of June 2, state parks will host several events, including the annual Fort Sisseton Festival, fishing derbies and several nature hikes in honor of National Trails Day.
Enjoy one of these weekend events:
- Fort Sisseton Historical Festival, Fort Sisseton Historic State Park, June 1-3. The West is alive and well at Fort Sisseton during this annual June celebration. Observe cavalry, artillery and infantry demonstrations. The festival includes continuous living history demonstrations, musical entertainment, and food booths. Visit the Rendezvous camp or watch arena events. Kids 11 and under free. Camping available. Info: 605-448-5474
- National Trails Day Hike, George S. Mickelson Trail, June 2, 8 a.m. MDT. Join this seven-mile walk/run/bike from the Lead High School to the Deadwood Trailhead. The first 100 registrants receive a T-shirt. Registration is $15 per person or $45 for a team of four. Info: 605-584-3896
- Prairie Trails National Trails Day Walk, Custer State Park, June 2, 9 a.m. MDT. From wildflowers to grasses, from wildlife to unseen beauty, this guided hike exposes participants to the significance of the Great Plains. This is an easy to moderate hike. Participants will meet at the Wildlife Station Visitor Center. Info: 605-255-4464
- Basic Birding, Oakwood Lakes State Park, June 2, 9 a.m. CDT. Learn about birds of the area while hiking on the trails in the park. All ages are welcome. Some binoculars will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own. Meet at the amphitheater. Info: 605-627-5441
- Geocaching and Basic GPS, Lake Thompson Recreation Area, June 2, 10 a.m. CDT. Learn the basics of the GPS and the fun and excitement of geocaching. Bring your own GPS or borrow one of ours. Info: 605-847-4893
- Water World, Roy Lake State Park, June 2, 10 a.m. CDT. Learn ways to have fun while being safe on the boat or just playing at the shore. Info: 605-448-5701
- Fishing Derby, Dante Lake, city of Dante, June 2, 10 a.m. CDT. Join us for a fishing derby just for kids. Info: North Point Recreation Area, 605-487-7046
- Kids’ Fishing Derby, Oahe Downstream Recreation Area, June 2, 10 a.m. CDT. Kids will have the opportunity to fish and win prizes for the largest, smallest, and most unusual catches of the day. Bait and a limited number of fishing poles will be provided. Info: 605-223-7722
- Badger Clark Trail National Trails Day Hike, Custer State Park, June 2, 1 p.m. MDT. Join a park naturalist for an easy one-mile hike along the Badger Clark Trail and learn of Badger's legacy in South Dakota and Custer State Park. Meet at the Badger Hole Historic Site. Info: 605-255-4515
- Little Devil’s Tower National Trails Day Hike, Custer State Park, June 2, 1 p.m. MDT. Take an adventurous hike to one of the highest points in the Black Hills. Through a spruce/pine forest then a rocky terrain, participants venture to the summit of a geological landscape. This hike is considered strenuous and is not recommended for people with health conditions or physical limitations. Meet at the General Store Parking Lot. Info: 605-255-4515
- Dutch Oven Gathering Night, Pierson Ranch Recreation Area, June 2, 5:30 p.m. CDT. Show off your talents and learn from others at this Dutch oven gathering. This is a potluck, so bring your pre-made item or cook it with us. Open discussion of tips and tricks is highly encouraged! Both beginners and experts are invited to attend. Meet at Picnic Shelter 1. Info: 605-668-2985
- Wild Dessert Hike, Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, June 2, 8 p.m. CDT. Nature's bounty can provide all sorts of edible treats. Learn more on this hike along the Gavins Point Nature Trail. Info: 605-668-2985
- Techno Treasure Hunt Walk in the Park, Oahe Downstream Recreation Area, June 2, 8 p.m. CDT. Learn more about the fun activity of geocaching and operating a GPS unit by skilled staff. Info: 605-223-7722
For more information on South Dakota state parks and a full calendar of events, visit www.gfp.sd.gov or call 605-773-3391.