There is a place in South Dakota that combines interesting terrain with eerie legends. It’s Sica Hollow State Park, in the northeastern corner of the state.
Sica Hollow State Park is located 15 miles northwest of Sisseton, S.D. It’s a place filled with ancient mysteries and rugged beauty. The park, part of the Coteau des Prairies Hills, offers a variety of year-round activities and is the source of many Native American legends.
The Native Americans named the hollow “sica” or “evil” because of the stories that were passed down about its dark and damp ravines. Even today, many of the natural occurrences, like the reddish colored swamps, glowing swamp gasses and tree stumps, intrigue visitors and fuel the spooky legends.
There are plenty of recreational opportunities and pastimes in the Hollow. Visitors enjoy hiking through the moderately wooded terrain, picnic along Sica Hollow’s miles of marked trails, bird watching, and snowmobiling. Interpretative guides are available to help hikers learn about the hollow’s streams, rustic bridges, waterfalls, and abundant wildflowers.
The Trail of the Spirits, designated as a National Recreational Trail in 1971, is a self-guided walk which provides a perfect way to explore the natural beauty of Sica Hollow. In the winter months, the hiking trails are ideal for cross-country skiing enthusiasts.Sica Hollow State Park also is home to one of South Dakota’s 13 National Natural Landmarks. The marker for this designation is nearby the trail head for the Trail of the Spirits.
Horseback riding and camping in the park are also favorites of visitors. There are 900 acres of undisturbed woodlands suitable for horseback riding. A rustic horse camp in the park offers water, tie rails, and picnic shelters for overnight visitors interested in sleeping under the stars.
The park is open year-round and has eight horse campsites. Camping in Sica Hollow is by reservation only and can be made by calling the park office at 1-800-710-CAMP or by visiting www.campsd.com