GFP News - May 8, 2013

Free Entrance, Free Fishing Mark S.D. State Parks' Open House Weekend

PIERRE, S.D. -- To kick off summer, the Department of Game, Fish and Parks is encouraging families to spend the weekend outside during the Parks' Open House Weekend and Free Fishing Weekend May 17-19.

During the annual three-day event, anglers can fish without a license anywhere in the state, and entrance fees are waived for all visitors to South Dakota's state parks and recreation areas. Camping fees still apply. Fishing regulations and limits apply.

Open House Weekend coincides with National Kids to Parks Day and special events are planned for parks across the state in an effort to get kids outside to discover the history, nature and adventure right around the corner or just across town.

Custer State Park will also be hosting a number of family activities both Saturday and Sunday, including cookouts, nature hikes, free hayrack rides, a fishing derby, nature programs and demonstrations. A full schedule of events can be found on Custer State Park’s website.

Five state parks will hold grand openings for their TRACK Trails disc golf courses.

The TRACK Trails disc golf courses are part of a network of trails nation-wide designed for kids and families. Each TRACK Trail has a series of self-guided adventures. Kids can earn Trail Tracker gear for each adventure by registering online at Open House weekend marks the grand opening for the TRACK Trail disc golf courses at Lake Herman State Park, Lake Louise Recreation Area, Lake Poinsett Recreation Area, Richmond Lake Recreation Area and Roy Lake State Park. The following parks already have participating disc golf courses: Angostura Recreation Area, Big Sioux Recreation Area, Hartford Beach State Park, Oahe Downstream Recreation Area, Oakwood Lakes State Park and Randall Creek Recreation Area.

Camping reservations at South Dakota State Parks can be made 24 hours a day. Make reservations online at or by calling 1-800-710-2267.

South Dakota state parks offer a wide variety of outdoor fun, including camping, picnicking and boating. Many parks also offer trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

For information on fishing, fishing license and fishing regulations or the South Dakota state park system, visit the GFP website at