Photo © Sam Stukel

Creatures of the Night Hike and Seek

Can you find what goes bump in the night? In this self-guided activity, we’re challenging you to find several nighttime creatures of South Dakota! Just hike the trails at participating state parks and Outdoor Campuses, keeping your eyes open for the informational signs and hidden nocturnal animal pictures along the way. Find them all and email us the secret code words to enter the prize drawing!

Submit Your Entry

Be sure to include your selfie, the five code words, your name and address, and the participating location’s name. 

How to participate 

Official Rules

Snap a selfie with the rules sign at the beginning of the trail. Include all members of your group; you get one entry for each person in the photo!

Explore the trail to learn fun facts about five different nocturnal (nighttime) creatures of South Dakota.

Expose the animals hiding nearby. A flashlight may help!

Keep track of the code words found on each animal sign and email them with your selfie to for a chance to win that locations’s prize package! Entries must be submitted on or before Nov. 1, 2020. The activity may remain available beyond the contest end date in some locations.

Participating Locations

Adams Homestead – Donkey Run Loop
Angostura – Angostura Lake Trail 
Custer – Legion Lake Trail
Farm Island – Farm Island Nature Trail. Start at the wood gate and proceed down the trail where you will take a right at the first trail intersection. Follow the trail and stay straight at the next trail intersection. Continue down the trail where you will take a right at the next junction, taking you back to the trailhead.
Fort Sisseton – Fort Sisseton Nature Trail
Good Earth – Vista Loop Trail
Hartford Beach – Aspen Spring Trail
Indian Creek – Turkey Run Trail
LaFramboise Island – Forest Trail Loop. Start at the kiosk near the green gate for a map with all the trail names. 
Lake Herman – Luce Hiking Trail
Lake Poinsett – Start at the visitor center. The marked path runs the length of the park.
Lake Vermillion – Otter Stream Trail
Lewis and Clark – Gavin’s Point Nature Trail
Newton Hills – Woodland Trail
Oakwood Lakes – Mortimer Shoreline Trail
Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls – Main Trails
Outdoor Campus, Rapid City – Main Trails
Palisades – South Wall Trail
Pelican Lake - Native Flower Observation Tower Hiking Trail which starts at the picnic shelter and goes to the observation tower. 
Pickerel Lake – Ponderosa Trail
Roy Lake – Island Trail
Shadehill – Picnic area loop
Sica Hollow – Trail of the Spirits
Snake Creek – Kids’ Fishing Pond Trailhead. The path goes to beach/picnic shelter.
West Bend – Campground Loop Road. Park at the double vault toilet in Campground 3. The campground loop will take you outside of the campground on the road, circling around back to the start. 


One email will be randomly selected as the winner from all entries at each location. 
The winner will be mailed a gift set containing a constellation throw blanket, a combination lantern/flashlight, and an “I love the night life” large zippered tote bag.