Palisades State Park in Eastern South Dakota
Updated: Jul 19, 2019
A year ago, my mother moved to Sioux Falls from where she was living in Iowa. I'm not someone that feels the pull to live near my family like most do, so at the time the change didn't really affect me one way or another. But over the past year, I have come to realize how nice it is to have her close by, to be able to pop over and see her at a moments notice is so much nicer than always having to plan an entire weekend. Which as many know in my life, is difficult to find an entire weekend! What I'm trying to say, is that it is that I really enjoy having her in the same town.
Anyhow, she mentioned one day that she hadn't been to Palisades State Park since she was in college. We needed to change that! So we made plans to head out there later that week.
Palisades is an absolutely gorgeous area located near Garretson, SD, on the east side of the state. There is a creek that flows through and 50 foot cliffs all around. The quartzite spires are said to be 1.2 billion years old!
You can spend an extended amount of time at the park by renting a cabin or pitching a tent. Or just come for the day with the many picnicking areas, hiking trails, and rock climbing! We hiked the trail that runs along the northeast side of the creek. However, with all the rain we had been having in the area, the trail was flooded halfway through, so we had to turn around.
We headed back across the bridge and over the west side of the creek and hiked the short trail that leads to an area that the kids can climb on the rocks.
Anyhow, the kids climbed around on the rocks, higher and higher, making me more nervous with each step. I remind them to be careful at least 1 million times, as my youngest dare devil annoyingly yells back, "I KNOW, MOM!". Oh well, my job is to keep them safe, their job is to push me over the edge. Just glad the roles didn't reverse on this trip. #momlife
We had some snacks, took in the views, listened to the rushing water and then headed on our way. Palisades State Park never gets old. Due to rising and falling water levels throughout the year, it is always a changing landscape. I did realize, however, that I haven't been to Palisades in the winter when it is covered in snow. So that is definitely on my bucket list in the coming months! And you all know how I love me some winter snow hiking!
Most South Dakota tourism focuses on the west side of the state. Perhaps you've heard of the Black Hills? ;) Anyhow, the east side often gets overlooked, but Palisades is worth the stop as you are traveling through the state in either direction. It is just 20 minutes off the interstate at the Brandon exit. Head north and follow the signs. Its a wonderful overnight break or the perfect lunch stop as you travel!