Category Archives: Camping

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Filed under Biking, Camping, Fishing, General Outdoors, Hiking, Hunting, Winter Sports

FREE!

The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks have announced the annual free state park pass and fishing weekend May 20-22, 2011. All of the state parks and campgrounds will offer the free admittance and no fishing licenses will be required to fish in South Dakota’s waters. The free weekend is a great time to come and see the beautiful parks and clean campgrounds here in the state.

The free weekend is offered to non-residents as well as South Dakota residents.
Here is the best source of information for locating the state park closest to you: SD GFP State Parks

I always use this weekend to get out camping before Memorial Day…the official kickoff of camping season. The early free weekend allows me to ready my camper, make sure the grill works and check all my gear. I also use the free weekend to put new line on my fishing poles and get ready for the summer season. There are plenty of other reasons why I camp, but this weekend in particular it’s FREE!

Hope to see you out there.

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Filed under Camping, Fishing

Badlands Backcountry

The Badlands national park backcountry is like no other hiking experience on earth. The rugged peaks, colorful, clay mounds and green prairie grass combine to stimulate the senses of any hiker able to get off the beaten path. There are many trails just off the scenic byway, but getting into the interior is where the secrets of the badlands come alive.

Like any other backcountry trip the most important thing is preparation and planning. The best place to start planning is the Ben Reifel visitor center. Here you can purchase topographical maps of the area and consult with a ranger. There are no designated trails in the Badlands backcountry so a GPS is highly recommended.

Water is the main concern for anyone planning to overnight in the Badlands. The desert-like landscape is almost completely void of the resource. If, however, water is found, it is likely non-potable and filled with much sediment. Filtering and boiling is possible if you have the right equipment. It is recommended to carry all of the water you will need for your trip.

Entering and exiting the backcountry is easiest from one of the many parking areas in the Badlands. It is important to ask a ranger which parking areas are designated for leaving a car overnight. This will eliminate the chance of a ticket or towing while hiking. There are a couple of places to register for a backcountry permit but it is not required. Registration can be found at the Ben Reifel visitor center and at the Sage Creek wilderness area.

While in the backcountry, the same rules and regulations of many national parks apply. You may not build a fire and you must camp out of site of any road or path. There are no designated camping areas, but it is recommended to camp on grass, as it will recover quickly. “Leave no trace” is the best rule to follow while hiking and camping in the Badlands.

If properly planned, a backpacking trip into the Badlands of South Dakota will be an unforgettable experience.

For more information including fees, maps, contact numbers, and season dates visit www.nps.gov/badl/index.htm.

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Filed under Camping, Hiking

Free State Park Entrance and Fishing Weekend

It’s that time of year again. Time to air up the camper tires, vacuum dead flies from the window sills, and check the line on your fishing poles. Here in South Dakota we honor the kickoff of camping season with a free weekend park pass and fishing weekend. Three days to enjoy our state’s beautiful campgrounds, pristine lakes, and outdoor amenities.

This year’s free park entrance and fishing weekend will be held May 21-23. Reservations can be made for all of the state parks by visiting http://www.campsd.com/. A full listing of all the state parks can also be found by visiting this website: http://www.sdgfp.info/parks/.

Not only can you gain free park access, but fishing will be free all three days. South Dakota has many state parks located on great fishing spots. In the Northeast region there are hundreds of clear, glacial lakes to fish. Almost all of the lakes hold great perch, crappie, northern, bass, and a few have wonderful walleye fishing.

The Central region of South Dakota is graced with the majestic Missouri River. Here you will find wonderful state park campgrounds lined with giant cottonwood trees and some of the best fresh water fishing in a multi-state region. The Missouri river is known for its walleye, but also has smallmouth bass, northern, white bass, catfish, salmon, and paddlefish.

In the Black Hills, anglers will discover one-of-kind trout fishing. There are many lakes, streams and reservoirs in the Black Hills flowing with crystal clear water. The fresh mountain air and high trout population makes fishing this region a favorite among angler’s nationwide.

South Dakota is a state known for its awe-inspiring campsites and phenomenal fishing opportunities. May 21-23, 2010 is a great opportunity to discover first hand South Dakota’s parks and fishing for FREE!

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Filed under Camping, Fishing