Good Earth State Park Hiking Trails near Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Updated: Nov 21, 2021
One of the closest state parks to Sioux Falls, Good Earth State Park hiking trails are usually my go to trails when I need to quickly get into nature, but don't have alot of time. It is also uniquely the largest Oneota cultural site discovered to date in the upper Midwest. This is a state park, so you'll need a state park entrance pass in order to get in. (Can be purchased at the entrance.)
This trail can take you through prairie grasses, descending and ascending forest terrains and along the Big Sioux Rivers' edge. There are gravel lined paths, as well as more dirt off-road style trails. And while the parking lot can often seem full on a beautiful day, I've never felt like the trails are crowded.
What I love about this trail, is the opportunity to change how I hike each time I come - sort of a "choose your own adventure" experience. There are multiple trail loops, allowing you to create short hikes, long hikes, easy hikes, or more challenging hikes; giving you the freedom to customize your experience each time you head out! With almost 7 miles of hiking trails, there is an option for all experience levels.
For this hike, I only had a little bit of time before the sun would set, so I took the 1 mile Vista Loop that starts at the visitors center and loops around to the varying lookout platforms. From these platforms you can see the Big Sioux River and over into Iowa in the distance! I always stop, no mater how many times I've been here!
I often see deer just off the trails and sometimes take the more off beaten deer trails for a change of scenery. I feel grateful to have this, essentially, in my backyard. Be sure to stay long enough for the sunset... you won't regret it.
For more day-to-day adventures and getaway location recommendations, be sure to follow me on instagram @tammy_bashore!