GFP News - August 22, 2013

  • State Parks Taking Camping Reservations Through The Winter
  • Riders Can Still Register for 16th Annual Mickelson Trail Trek
  • Labor Day Weekend Events Wrap Up Summer
  • Trolley Rides Allow Those with Physical Limitations to Experience the Mickelson Trail

State Parks Taking Camping Reservations Through The Winter

PIERRE, S.D. -- The Game, Fish and Parks Department is reminding campers that the end of the summer doesn't mean the end of camping at South Dakota state parks as the parks will continue taking camping reservations throughout the winter months.

"We now take reservations for stays year-round," said state park director Doug Hofer. "In the past, camping was on a first-come, first-served basis after Labor Day."
 
Campsites and cabins at Custer State Park can be reserved up to one year in advance, and up to 90 days prior to arrival at all other campsites and cabins.

Group campsites located at Custer State Park and Lewis and Clark Recreation Area can also be booked one year in advance. Group lodges that can be reserved one year ahead of time include:

  • Lake Thompson Recreation Area near Lake Preston
  • Mina Lake Recreation Area near Aberdeen
  • Newton Hills State Park near Canton
  • Oahe Downstream Recreation Area near Fort Pierre
  • Palisades State Park near Garretson
  • Shadehill Recreation Area near Lemmon
  • Sheps Canyon Recreation Area on Angostura Reservoir near Hot Springs

Camping reservations can be made online at www.campsd.com or by calling 1-800-710-2267.

-GFP-

Riders Can Still Register for 16th Annual Mickelson Trail Trek

LEAD, S.D. -- Openings still exist for riders to take part in the 16th Annual Mickelson Trail Trek on Friday, Sept. 20 through Sunday, Sept. 22, say park officials. The deadline for registration is Sept. 1.

Registration can be completed online by visiting www.mickelsontrail.com and following the "Trail Trek" link. Registration is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The ride is open to all bicyclists 14 years of age or older. Riders will cover 109 miles of the trail over three days. The Trail Trek highlights the George S. Mickelson Trail as it winds through the heart of the Black Hills from Edgemont to Lead-Deadwood.  

The registration fee includes the trail pass, shuttle service, commemorative souvenirs, refreshments and some meals. Riders are responsible for accommodations and mechanical support.

The ride began as a celebration of the completion of the rails-to-trails project. It continues today to introduce new bicyclists to the trail and thank supporters for their long-standing enthusiasm for the Black Hills trail.

For more information on the Mickelson Trail or the Trail Trek, visit www.mickelsontrail.com or contact the Black Hills Trail office at 605-584-3896.

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Labor Day Weekend Events Wrap Up Summer

PIERRE, S.D. -- Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of the summer, and South Dakota State Parks invite you to come out and enjoy special weekend events.
 

  • Fiesta Friday, Chief White Crane Recreation Area near Yankton, Aug. 30, 7 p.m. CDT. Help us kick-off Labor Day weekend with a party! Make a craft inspired by the Spanish culture and learn how to do the Mexican Hat Dance. All ages welcome! For more information, call 605-668-2985.
  • Labor Day Patriotic Campsite Decorating Display, Oakwood Lakes State Park near Volga and Lake Poinsett Recreation Area near Arlington, Aug. 30 - Sept. 2. Campers, bring supplies to decorate your campsites! Judging takes place on Saturday. Prizes for all! For more information, call 605-627-5441.
  • Southern Hills Triathlon, Angostura Recreation Area near Hot Springs, Aug. 31, at 7 a.m. MDT. Athletes can participate in a kids' triathlon, sprint triathlon, Olympic distance triathlon or duathlon. Participate as an individual or a team. For more information, call 605-745-6996.
  • Nature Hike, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run near Sioux Falls, Aug. 31 at 9 a.m. CDT, Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m. CDT and Sept. 2 at 10 a.m. CDT. Join the park naturalist on a nature hike through the new Good Earth State Park which is within the Blood Run National Historic Landmark. The area is significant for its history as a settlement for thousands of American Indians. T his nature walk will be an introduction and exploration of the 13th S.D. State Park and the first in 40 years. Info: 605-987-2263 or newtonhills@state.sd.us, pre-registration: 605-362-2777 or www.outdoorcampus.org.
  • Bike Rodeo, Aug. 31, 9:30 a.m. CDT at North Point Recreation Area and 11 a.m. CDT at Randall Creek Recreation Area both near Pickstown. Saddle up those bikes and join us for a rip roaring fun time. For more information, call 605-487-7046.
  • Monarch Butterfly Tagging, Palisades State Park near Garretson, Aug. 31, 2 p.m. CDT. Learn the life cycle of the monarch butterfly then help in identifying, recording, tagging and releasing butterflies on their way to Mexico. For more information, call 605-594-3824.
  • CSI: Newton Hills, Newton Hills State Park near Canton, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. CDT. Meet at the amphitheater where kids can take part in Animal CSI! The park ranger will join us for this program where we will investigate animal tracks, learn how to identify animals, and make bookmarks. For more information, call 605-987-2263.
  • Bicycle Parades, Sept. 1, at 9:30 a.m. CDT at North Point Recreation Area and 11:30 a.m. CDT at Randall Creek Recreation Area both near Pickstown. Kids need to bring only their bikes, as decorations will be provided for this end-of-the-summer event! For more information, call 605-487-7046.
  • Constellation Stories, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run near Sioux Falls, Sept. 1 at 9:30 p.m. CDT. Learn constellation stories from cultures around the world while looking at the Good Earth night sky through a telescope.  Bring good shoes and bug repellant. For more information, call 605-987-2263.


For more information on the South Dakota State Parks, please visit www.gfp.sd.gov or call 605-773-3391. To learn about park programs in your area, contact your local state park office.

-GFP-

Trolley Rides Allow Those with Physical Limitations to Experience the Mickelson Trail

DEADWOOD, S.D. -- Black Hills visitors with physical limitations have an opportunity to view the Mickelson Trail on Tuesday, Sept. 3, and Wednesday, Sept. 11.

The trolley leaves the Deadwood Trailhead at 1 p.m. MDT on Sept. 3 and travels the Mickelson Trail from Englewood to Rochford. To reserve a spot, contact NeighborWorks at 605-578-1401.

At 10 a.m. MDT on Sept. 11, the trolley will leave the Hill City Trailhead and travel to Mystic. Contact the Hill City Chamber at 605-574-2368 to sign up for that ride.

Riders will learn about the history of the former railroad line and the inception of the trail. The rides are about four hours long.  

"We are pleased to offer these trolley rides, so people with physical limitations can get out and experience the Mickelson Trail," said Dana Garry, park manager. "Everyone has a wonderful time and learns a little about the trail."

Reservations are required. Each person reserving a space on the trolley will be required to have a handicapped parking permit. One assistant is allowed to accompany the person, if needed. The trolley has space available for up to two people who use wheelchairs.  

The trolley rides are a combined effort of the Hill City and Deadwood Chambers of Commerce, Deadwood NeighborWorks, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department and the City of Deadwood.

For more information, contact the Mickelson Trail office at 605-584-3896.

-GFP-