Go Outside! Play!
It was beginning to seem like spring would never come, but finally, thank goodness, it is here. Warmer temperatures are a welcome change in their own right, and combined with the color explosion that is close at hand, South Dakota will soon be an even more wonderful place to spend time outside.
From canyons to trout, to foxes and ringed-necked pheasants, there’s plenty to see while enjoying the upcoming warm temperatures. Whether you’re a South Dakotan or a visitor, here are some of the best spots in the state for enjoying springtime treasures.
Wildlife Loop Road Scenic Byway
It can be a downer when the weather doesn’t match the season. In South Dakota, cool temperatures often still make the prospect of getting outside on foot a little daunting. This is why the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park is such a treasure. Without leaving your car you can see a variety of animals (foxes, deer, coyotes, elk, prairie dogs, pronghorn), including one of the world’s largest buffalo herds. There are also other great scenic drives in the park to complete your truly American safari experience.
The McCrory Gardens maintained by South Dakota State University in Brookings is a must-see for flower and plant enthusiasts. The gardens consist of 25 acres of flowers, trees, herbs, shrubs and grasses. Especially exciting is the rose garden with over 30 varieties of roses, given that they’ll soon be blossoming. Just think of the smell!
photo taken by: Jeremiah M. Murphy
Roughlock Falls Nature Area
The Roughlock Falls Nature Area in Spearfish Canyon may be one of the most picturesque spots in the state. A multilevel waterfall spills onto moss covered rocks, making it a popular subject for photographers and admirers alike, but the falls themselves are only half the fun. The Roughlock Falls Nature also boasts ample hiking trials and trout fishing spots, and a wonderfully high concentration of wildlife and bird life.
photo by Matthew Paulson
The Oyate Trail is a grassroots, alternative route for traveling along South Dakota’s southern border from North Sioux City west to the southern Black Hills. The trails system of highways, like US-18, bend and twist through some of the state’s most beautiful and most culturally important areas. The vistas are endless and the trail’s path connects thousands of visitors to several places to learn aboutNative American culture and history. The Oyate Trail is superb option for those who’d like to enjoy the outdoors with a few creature comforts.
Bid Winter Farewell
Even when winter seems hesitant to leave, we can take heart in the fact that spring is right around the corner. Outdoor excursions, concerts, wildlife viewing, hikes, photography, fishing; these are just a few outdoor options South Dakota offers in the spring to those who’ve been craving fresh (warmer) air.
No matter if you do your exploring on foot or behind the wheel, enjoying spring’s resplendent glory in South Dakota can be the perfect post-winter recharge. Have fun, and remember your camera!
Jeffrey Ferraro is a travel expert and enthusiast. Jeffrey loves uncovering lesser known travel destinations and sharing them with his customers. He is the Director of Marketing of Diamond Tours, the leading provider of charter group bus tours in the US and Canada, including popular bus trips such as the Smoky Mountains bus tour.