Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Expecting Another Busy Year For South Dakota’s Parks

Expecting Another Busy Year For South Dakota’s Parks
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

DaugaardSpring has sprung and summer is around the corner. Now is a good time to plan a summer trip to one of our state parks. If not a week-long vacation, consider at least a weekend or weeknight stay.

State parks are great vacation spots for out-of-state tourists, but they are also great destinations for South Dakotans to spend some quality time with family and friends. We’re fortunate to live in a state where beautiful outdoor opportunities are never too far away. We have an abundance of choices, too. We’re home to 56 state parks and recreation areas including Angostura, Good Earth, North Point, Okobojo and Custer State Park. Hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, kayaking, boating – you can do all those things right here in South Dakota.

Last year, more people camped in South Dakota’s state parks than ever before. Our parks hosted over 290,000 nights of camping for in- and out-of-state guests – up 3.8 percent from 2013. State park staff members expect this year to be just as busy.

Linda and I are already planning a trip to Custer State Park. We are reserving our spots early because a number of Linda’s siblings and cousins will be joining us for a big family reunion.

Custer State Park takes reservations one year in advance. For other state parks, however, reservations open 90 days in advance. That means early summer dates are already available.  And, starting the first week of April, you’ll be able to make reservations for the Fourth of July weekend, which is the most popular camping weekend of the year.

Start planning your summer now so you don’t miss out. Make reservations for your favorite campground as soon as possible. To reserve your spot, visit or call 1-800-710-2267.


One thought on “Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Expecting Another Busy Year For South Dakota’s Parks”

  1. One of the things that sets South Dakotans apart is that they have to go camping. They don’t want to, they have to.
    Numerous times I have heard comments like “the weather is going to be awful this weekend but we have to go camping” or “we would love to join you Saturday but we have to (sigh) go camping.”
    My favorite story was about a Family who thought they had a reservation, selected a spot, but when they returned to it, somebody else had claimed it. So they drove home and camped in their driveway. During the night one of the supports holding the camper up collapsed. But they did their job and had gone camping.

    Elsewhere in the USA, if something comes up (like a tornado watch) it’s okay to change plans. But in South Dakota, camping is mandatory.

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