GFP News - May 24, 2013

  • Make Reservations to Camp Labor Day Weekend in SD State Parks
  • Enjoy Summer Activities At A South Dakota State Park
  • 2013 Fort Sisseton Festival - A Little Something for Everyone
  • Gov. Janklow to be Honored at Annual Fort Sisseton Festival
  • Trolley Rides Allow Those With Physical Limitations to Experience the Mickelson Trail

Make Reservations to Camp Labor Day Weekend in SD State Parks

PIERRE, S.D. -- Starting June 1, campers making plans for Labor Day weekend can begin reserving campsites in South Dakota state parks.

"Labor Day weekend marks the traditional end of the summer season, and many people try to get in one last camping trip," said Doug Hofer, state parks and recreation director. "Campsites are reserved well in advance, so plan ahead and make your reservations as soon as possible to get your favorite camping spot."

A three-night stay is required during holiday weekends at all state parks, except Custer State Park.

Reservations for campsites and camping cabins in South Dakota state parks can be made 90 days prior to arrival dates. Custer State Park and the group lodges at Mina Lake, Shadehill, Newton Hills, Palisades, Oahe Downstream and Lake Thompson accept reservations one year in advance.

Reservations can be made 24 hours a day online or through the call center. Sites become available at 7 a.m. CDT on the first day of the 90-day or 1-year window. For nonresidents there is a $7.70 reservation fee per site. A daily or annual park entrance license is required on all vehicles entering the park. Entrance fees are in addition to camping fees.

For reservations, call 800-710-2267 or go online to

For additional information on South Dakota state parks and recreation areas and to view the 90-day window calendar, visit the South Dakota state parks website at .


Enjoy Summer Activities At A South Dakota State Park

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.

On June 1 state parks will host several events, including fishing derbies and nature hikes in honor of National Trails Day.

  • National Trails Day Hikes, Parks statewide are hosting hikes on June 1 in honor of National Trails Day. Take a hike in one of these parks:
  • Kids' Fishing Derby, Oahe Downstream Recreation Area, 10 a.m. - Noon CDT. Kids will have the opportunity to fish and win prizes for the largest, smallest and most interesting catches of the day. A limited number of fishing poles will be provided. Children 8 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration encouraged. Info: 605-223-7722
  • Kids' Fishing Derby, Oakwood Lakes State Park, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. CDT. Kids ages 4-15 can participate in this annual fishing derby. Register at 10 a.m. at the Welcome Center. Bring a pole, bait will be provided. Prizes for all participants! Info: 605-627-5441
  • Dutch Oven Demonstration, Roy Lake State Park, 3 p.m. CDT. We'll demonstrate proper technique for using and caring for your Dutch oven. Come join us for some new recipes. Info: 605-448-5701
  • Ducks!, Newton Hills State Park, 4 p.m. CDT. Come for a fun-filled program about ducks! Bring a buddy and a towel if you have one because we will be playing a fun game where you might get wet! Info: 605-987-2663
  • Geocaching and Basic GPS, Lake Thompson Recreation Area, 10 a.m. CDT. This fun activity combines the use of GPS units with exploring the beautiful park. The park will provide GPS units for a lesson in the basics of geocaching. Info: 605-847-4893
  • Campfire and Constellations, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run, 8:30 p.m. CDT. Enjoy a night by the campfire viewing constellations through a telescope! Around the fire, learn about a few constellation, star and planet stories from cultures all over the world. After the sun sets, we'll check out the park's night sky through the telescope. Info: 605-987-2263. Pre-register: 605-362-2777 or
  • Mountain Bike Race, LaFramboise Island Nature Area, 8:30 a.m. CDT. The LaFramboise Island Mountain Bike Race takes bikers on a fast, fairly flat course that features a few tight corners, sweet stretches and fun challenges. Several divisions are available, based on gender and skill. Entry fee of $20 per riders. Registration: 8:30-10 a.m. CDT; race meeting: 10:15 a.m.; Race Start: 10:30 a.m. Info: 605-224-7054.

The programs are open to all ages. A park entrance license is required.

For more information on South Dakota state parks and a full calendar of events, visit or call 605-773-3391.


2013 Fort Sisseton Festival - A Little Something for Everyone

FORT SISSETON, S.D. -- There is something for everyone at the 2013 Fort Sisseton Festival which will begin Friday, June 7, and continue through Sunday, June 9. With marching infantry, galloping cavalry, American Indian dancers, storytellers, and musical performances, people of all ages are sure to be entertained.
Built in 1864, Fort Sisseton Historic State Park is one of the most well preserved Frontier Forts in the Midwest. Each June, with the help of hundreds of performers, re-enactors, and volunteers, the hand of time is pushed back and old Fort Sisseton looks, sounds and smells as it once it once did over 140 years ago.

Rendezvous trader booths will span the western edge of the festival grounds. Fur traders will be open for business and bartering all weekend long.

A muzzleloader shoot competition begins Friday afternoon with the black-powder shooting competition. The competition also includes a special tomahawk and knife throw, and will continue until Sunday afternoon.

For those who are hands-on, history demonstrators will teach whip cracking and Dutch oven cooking. A reveille ceremony, ranch rodeo, pie baking contest and chuck wagon cook-off are also scheduled.

Bluegrass duo Jamie Lynn and Dylan James will be performing traditional American folk songs and jazz numbers. Their West Virginia style banjo, driving guitar and old time fiddling is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

"If you have never attended or if it has been years since you visited, this is the year to be here." said Fort Sisseton manager Katie Ceroll. "From specialty coffee and crepes to pork loin sandwiches, we have a great line-up of vendors. The weekend schedule is packed with activities. You will find something for everyone in your group to enjoy."

Daily admission is $5 per person, age 12 and older. Starting on Wednesday, June 5, festival camping is available for $20 per night. A park entrance license is not required for the festival weekend.

For a full schedule of events and times, visit the South Dakota state parks website or contact Fort Sisseton at 605-448-5474.

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park is located 10 miles southwest of Lake City off SD Highway 10.


Gov. Janklow to be Honored at Annual Fort Sisseton Festival

FORT SISSETON, S.D. -- A plaque honoring Gov. Bill Janklow will be dedicated at the annual Fort Sisseton Historical Festival in a ceremony on June 8 at 3 p.m. CDT.

The plaque will be on display next to one honoring the late State Senator Curt Jones.

"Gov. Janklow's efforts to secure funding for early restoration efforts at Fort Sisseton coupled with local support from state Senator Curt Jones, made restoration of the state park possible," said Paul Symens, Fort Sisseton Commissioner.

This plaque will serve as a living legacy of Janklow's commitment to the restoration of historic Fort Sisseton.

The Fort Sisseton Festival will be held June 7-9. Fort Sisseton Historic State Park is located 10 miles southwest of Lake City off SD Highway 10.


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, June 4.

The trolley leaves the Deadwood Trailhead at 1 p.m. MDT and tours the Mickelson Trail from Englewood to Rochford. To reserve a spot on the tour, call 605-578-1401.

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

"Trolley rides are an excellent way for people with physical limitations to 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, Neighborhood Housing, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department, and the City of Deadwood.

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