April 23, 2021

South Dakota Trek

Some of you may know that I hail from South Dakota. Chicago is currently my home, but the state in which I was born and reared holds deep affection for me.
I share some recent discoveries in case any of you find yourselves in Sioux Falls for business, or need a stop while motoring to Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills.

We recently visited a handful of scenic sites in the Southeastern corner of South Dakota starting with Palisades State Park two miles south of Garretson with its colorful quartzite pinnacles forming 50 foot cliffs lining the Split Rock River. Tiny cabins with inside rooms for literally two twin beds, outdoor fire pits and porches with two Adirondack chairs overlooking the park are available for rental. Campers can plug into electrical outlets in the camping area. Bathroom facilities do not have running water so one can still get the feeling of “roughing it.” Reservations 1-800-710-CAMP (2267).
Also using locally hand-quarried quartzite is Split Rock Park, notable for the WPA structures using this lovely stone and the infinity edge dam. Pontoon rides are available during the summer months. Phone: 605- 594-6721 for more information.

And finally for those interested in western folklore, stop in to see Devil’s Gulch where Jesse James jumped a gorge in 1876 to escape a posse in hot pursuit from Northfield, MN. The space between the two banks doesn’t look that daunting until you look down and realize the risk in not leaping quite far enough. A see-through metal bridge now spanning the distance is not for those inclined to vertigo. If you have time, check out Devil’s Falls, Devil’s Kitchen and Devil’s Stairway. A Visitor’s Center is open May through October. Guided one hour tour with a nominal charge available by reservation. Phone: 605-594-3404.

All three of these attractions are within the Garretson environs and just minutes from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.



  1. daniel b german says

    Bathrooms do not have running water? Are they outhouses?

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