GFP News - May 21, 2015
- Custer State Park Repeatedly Gains National Acclaim
- State Parks Host Weekend Events
Custer State Park Repeatedly Gains National Acclaim
PIERRE, S.D. -- Custer State Park has long been considered one of South Dakota's most cherished locations, along with Mount Rushmore and the Badlands. It is more than just state pride, however, that makes this park special.
The rest of the world has taken notice as well, especially within the last few years. Custer State Park has been mentioned in several â€œmust seeâ€ lists in recent years, making its mark on both the national and worldwide scene.
"Those of us who live in South Dakota have always had a special pride in Custer State Park," says Matt Snyder, superintendent of Custer State Park. "We're glad that it's finally getting recognized on a larger scale. We've had visitors from all over the country and even the world, and it's nice that these mentions reflect that."
Custer State Park earned global attention when it appeared in a list of the top 10 wildlife viewing destinations in the world compiled by Fox News. Custer accompanied such extraordinary locations as Namibia, the Galapagos Islands and Alaska. The park's abundance of bison, burros, prairie dogs, big horn sheep, pronghorns, elk and turkeys secured it a top spot.
In a Reader's Choice contest put on by USA Today and 10Best, Custer State Park won a coveted spot on the "Best State Park" list. Voters chose Custer for its famous buffalo herd and wildlife sightings, framed with the rugged beauty of the Black Hills.
Snyder said the park is well prepared for the extra attention. Crews broke ground in April for the construction of a state-of-the-art visitor center to better serve the park's growing number of visitors, which already reaches approximately 1.8 million annually.
"The new exhibits, along with a world-class film experience, will answer visitorâ€™s questions and inspire them to explore the park on a deeper level," said Snyder. "The visitor center will further define Custer as one of the premier park destinations in the nation. We're looking forward to introducing visitors to our little slice of South Dakota heaven."
Other notable accolades for Custer State Park include:
- CNN, "American Safaris: Best Places to See Wildlife in the U.S."
- USA Today, "20 Stunning State Parks Across the USA"
- MSN, "The Best Hotel in Every State"
- MSN, "10 Best Safaris in the U.S."
- MSN â€“ "The 10 Places in the US You Absolutely Have to Visit in 2015"
- Yahoo Travel, "Top 10 All-American Road Trips"
- Lonely Planet, "Best in the US 2015"
- Frommerâ€™s, "Frommer's' Best Places to Go in 2015"
- American Bus Association, "Two Events Honored as Top Events to Visit in U.S. and Canada in 2015"
- Fodorâ€™s Travel Guides, "10 Best Safaris in the U.S"
- Paste Magazine, "10 Great State Parks in the Great Plains"
- GuestRated.com, "GuestReviews Lists 2014 Grade-A Parks"
- Midwest Living, "24 Best Midwest Campgrounds"
- Good Morning America, "See This, Skip That: South Dakota"
- The Gazette, "Custer State Park a Great Place to Roam"
- Featured on ABC's Born to Explore
- Featured on Mutual of Omahaâ€™s Wild Kingdom
- Featured on The Motorhead Traveler
- CBS Morning News, "Buffalo Herd Wows South Dakota Crowd"
- Midwest Living, "Great State Park Stays: South Dakota's Custer State Park"
- Featured in American Cowboy Magazine
State Parks Host Weekend Events
PIERRE, S.D. -- To celebrate summer, South Dakota State Parks are hosting events May 29-30. From a Dutch oven cooking demonstration to learning about the water cycle, families of all ages and sizes can learn and have fun.
Friday, May 29
- "Our River," Good Earth State Park at Blood Run, Sioux Falls. 7 P.M. CT. Info: 605.987.2263
Saturday, May 30
- "Mr. Drip's Trip," Newton Hills State Park, Canton. 1 p.m. CT. Info: 605.987.2263
- Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, Chief White Crane Recreation Area, Yankton. 7 p.m. CT. Info: 605.668.2985
- Bird Watching Basics Walk in the Park, Oahe Downstream Recreation Area, Fort Pierre. 9 a.m. CT. Info: 605.223.7722
- Good Earth Challenge, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run, Sioux Falls. 11 a.m. CT. Info: 605.987.2263
- Monarchs, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run, Sioux Falls. 9 a.m. CT. Info: 605.987.2263
All events are free with a park entrance license. For more information on activities in South Dakota state parks, visit gfp.sd.gov, contact the individual park office or call 605.773.3391.