Good Earth State Park southeast of Sioux Falls is an important cultural and historical site as well as a unique nature retreat adjacent to the most developed and populated part of our state. The site itself is one of the oldest sites of long-term human habitation in the United States. The river, abundant wildlife, fertile flood plains, availability of pipestone (catlinite) and protection from winds made the area an important gathering place for seasonal ceremonies and a significant trading center for many tribal peoples from 1300 - 1700 A.D. During this time, occupants were primarily Oneota Tradition Peoples, including Omaha, Ponca, Ioway and Otto, but many other tribes were attracted and participated in trading agricultural product as well as hides, pelts and pipestone (catlinite). This is the largest Oneota cultural site discovered to date in the upper Midwest. There are two other significant Oneota cultural sites located respectively in southwest Iowa and central Missouri.

One of few places you can combine trails and get a few miles in

trail running
5 months ago

This is one of the longer trails in the area with a long easy decent to the river. There are three short and moderate hill climbs to get a good heart rate up. Nice views and sometimes you will see deer. Hood variety of oak forest and prairie.

7 months ago

Easy trails, scenic overlooks were awesome

Great hike, beautiful prairie views

Short easy. Some nicely done scenic overlooks.

Nice trails. Not very difficult. Good for jogging. Some hills.

Monday, November 14, 2016

River View is the newest and longest trail in the newest State Park in South Dakota. It begins on the river bluffs and descends to the river and then goes up to the bluffs again. This is a moderate trail that is mostly dirt/grass path. The beginning is crushed rock. There is old growth Oak forest, prairie and river that makes for a good trail. @backpackerneil

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Very nicely kept trail. Took a side trail of the main one and went through the more rough paths that were not as visible- it made for a nice challenge and more of a workout.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Easy walk around the park.

A nice easy hike for the evening

This is a combination of 4 separate trails currently at Good Earth State Park. This newest park is evolving even as I write this. I began this route on the Bur Oak Trail, then connected with the Riparian Trail, then took the connector trail to River Lookout and completing it back at the parking lot. I wanted a longer hike and this was the best of all trails too. If you haven't been to this newest State Park check it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed. The vision for this cultural and historical area is grand. I can't wait to watch it unfold. @backpackerneil

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Bur Oak Trail begins near where the new visitor center for Good Earth State park is being built not far from the gravel parking lot. It goes in a Northerly direction around an old farmstead with a barn and silo. It's a 2 wheeled dirt road for a short distance and then veers to the right where it is a mowed grass path that stays near the trees. Then it descends to the river bottom through a dense oak stand and goes past a grave marker for the first child to have died in Lincoln County. The loop begins as you reach the river bottom where it opens up to prairie grass. The loop gives some views of the Big Sioux River then steadily climbs back up to finish the loop and then back to the trail head in more of a lollipop trail style. At 2.5 miles it's a nice distance for a hike in under an hour yet not too short. Look for the 3 oaks growing in a row along the path. Good path to view wildlife late evening or early morning. @backpackerneil

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

This trail goes along the Big Sioux River with nice views of the river, river bluffs and a couple of Massive Cottonwood trees along with a very large maple that creates an arch over the trail. It's a loop that begins more than a mile from the parking area. You must take the Bur Oak trail or another connector trail to get to it. A good workout, Great views, and low traffic make this a great trail to get out for some solitude. @backpackerneil

Friday, August 15, 2014

This is a new trail in South Dakota's newest State Park. The trail is being overlaid with gravel this summer and is still under construction. Wildflower and native grass meadows dominate the interior of the loop and Oak forest and river are the features of the East and North side of the loop. Light traffic and a quick outdoor getaway make this a nice trail. @backpackerneil

trail running
5 months ago

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