Free entrance, free fishing mark S.D. State Parks’ open house weekend
May 13. 2013 7:47AM
To kick off summer, the Department of Game, Fish and Parks is encouraging families to spend the weekend outside during the Parks' Open House Weekend and Free Fishing Weekend May 17-19.
During the annual three-day event, anglers can fish without a license anywhere in the state, and entrance fees are waived for all visitors to South Dakota's state parks and recreation areas. Camping fees still apply. Fishing regulations and limits apply.
Open House Weekend coincides with National Kids to Parks Day and special events are planned for parks across the state in an effort to get kids outside to discover the history, nature and adventure right around the corner or just across town.
Use Your Senses Scavenger Hike, Oakwood Lakes State Park near Bruce, 8 a.m. Friday, May 17 to 8 p.m. Sunday, May 19. Info: 605-627-5441
Night Sky, Newton Hills State Park near Canton, May 17, 10 p.m. Info: 605-987-2263
Kids Butterfly Walk, Lewis and Clark Recreation Area near Yankton, May 18, 8:30 a.m.
Nature Hike, Good Earth State Park near Sioux Falls, May 18, 9 a.m.
Kids' Fishing Derby, Lake Louise Recreation Area near Miller, May 18, 9-11:30 a.m.
Kids to Parks Fishing Day, Farm Island Recreation Area near Pierre, May 18, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Dash for Cache!, Pierson Ranch Recreation Area near Yankton, May 18, 10 a.m. Info: 605-668-2985
Family Archery for Beginners, Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon, May 18, 10 a.m. Info: 605-582-7243
Flower Seed Pocket Program, Lake Thompson Recreation Area near Lake Preston, May 18, 10 a.m. Info: 605-847-4893
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Disc Golf Tournament, Richmond Lake Recreation Area near Aberdeen, May 18, 10 a.m.
Kite Flying, North Point Recreation Area near Pickstown, May 18, 10 a.m. Info: 605-487-7046
Kids to Parks Day Tetonkaha Island Animal Hunt, Oakwood Lakes State Park near Bruce, May 18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Kids Exploration Nature Hike, Lake Herman State Park near Madison, May 18, 1 p.m.
Disc Golf for Beginners, Oahe Downstream Recreation Area near Fort Pierre, May 18, 1 p.m.
Kids’ Fishing Day, Shadehill Recreation Area near Lemmon, May 18, 1-3p.m. Info: 605-374-5114
Youth Activity Day, Newton Hills State Park, May 18, 1-5 p.m. Pre-register by calling 605-987-2263.
Fantastic Family Fishing, Palisades State Park near Garretson, May 18, 2 p.m. Info: 605-594-3824
Kids' Nature Scavenger Hunt, Lake Vermillion Recreation Area near Montrose, May 18, 2 p.m. Info: 605-296-3643
Disc Golf Demonstration and Instruction, Hartford Beach State Park near Milbank, May 18, 2-4 p.m.
Kids' Fishing, Lake Herman State Park near Madison, May 18, 7-9 p.m.
Scorpion Fact and Fiction, Indian Creek Recreation Area near Mobridge, May 18, 8 p.m. Info: 605-845-7112
Custer State Park will also be hosting a number of family activities both Saturday and Sunday, including cookouts, nature hikes, free hayrack rides, a fishing derby, nature programs and demonstrations. A full schedule of events can be found on Custer State Park’s website.
Five state parks will hold grand openings for their TRACK Trails disc golf courses.
The TRACK Trails disc golf courses are part of a network of trails nation-wide designed for kids and families. Each TRACK Trail has a series of self-guided adventures. Kids can earn Trail Tracker gear for each adventure by registering online at kidsinparks.com. Open House weekend marks the grand opening for the TRACK Trail disc golf courses at Lake Herman State Park, Lake Louise Recreation Area, Lake Poinsett Recreation Area, Richmond Lake Recreation Area and Roy Lake State Park. The following parks already have participating disc golf courses: Angostura Recreation Area, Big Sioux Recreation Area, Hartford Beach State Park, Oahe Downstream Recreation Area, Oakwood Lakes State Park and Randall Creek Recreation Area.
Camping reservations at South Dakota State Parks can be made 24 hours a day. Make reservations online at www.campsd.com or by calling 1-800-710-2267.
South Dakota state parks offer a wide variety of outdoor fun, including camping, picnicking and boating. Many parks also offer trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
For information on fishing, fishing license and fishing regulations or the South Dakota state park system, visit the GFP website at www.gfp.sd.gov.