South Dakota (SD) offers a wide range of terrain for hiking from the Great Plains in the east to the Black Hills in the west.
Eastern South Dakota is defined by the Great Plains, which means there are plenty of meandering trails through wide open fields. Prairie trails are perfect for families with small children because the flat topography makes them fairly easy. Lakes are abundant in this area so hikers will find plenty of trails that skirt around pristine and scenic lakes and ponds. The Missouri River also provides riverside hiking trails that allow hikers to walk along the river and enjoy its scenic beauty.
Western South Dakota brings a change of terrain with the Black Hills, where hikers can follow trails that lead into the mountains from the Great Plains. Black Hills National Forest has a wide range of trails, some of which are easy and meander around reservoirs and streams, while others offer challenging and steep climbs to mountain top views. Hiking is also popular around Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial, but for more secluded trails check out Badlands National Park. Badlands National Park has trails that explore deep canyons, eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires, and most trails have stunning views of the area. You can even find hiking trails near cities like Sioux Falls and Rapid City.
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