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South Dakota Parks See Record Visitation


“People no longer only think of the parks as just a Friday-Saturday camping trip during the summer,” said Doug Hofer, state parks/recreation director.”Now, park visitors take in events and activities year-round. They’re trying out new parks and staying longer, and more people are camping in the spring and fall and during the week.”

Park visitation was up 4 percent in 2015 over a record-setting 2014. Likewise, the number of camping nights broke 2014’s record by 9 percent, with an additional 25,000 nights of camping.

Even with limited park improvements in place, Good Earth saw over 30,000 visitors in 2015, a 20 percent increase over last year. The park, which is located on the edge of Sioux Falls, draws in visitors with its hiking trails, wildlife, Native American history and natural landscape. The planned enhancements, including a visitor center, will make the culturally significant site a destination for school groups and families across the region.