Best places to see autumn colors in South Dakota

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Fall is the perfect time to revel in the rustic charm of South Dakota by taking a scenic drive through one of the state’s many breathtaking landscapes and savoring the vibrant autumn colors. No matter what part of the state you happen to be in, beautiful fall foliage is only minutes away. Below are some of the destinations in South Dakota that are popular amongst locals and tourists alike for appreciating the charm this season has to offer.

Newton Hills State Park

Located in southeast South Dakota, Newton Hills State Park offers many activities for the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy while appreciating the area’s fall foliage. Lake Lakota contains bass, catfish, and perch for those who like to fish, while hunters can take advantage of the park’s bow hunting season between October 1st and April 30th. The many picnic areas within Newton Hills provide the perfect place to indulge in a delicious lunch and a hot mug of cider while taking in the crisp autumn air. Those who like to bird-watch will be in awe, since an astonishing 200 species visit the park each year. The region is also abundant with other wildlife including red and gray fox, marmots, and white-tail deer. There are over six miles of well-maintained trails in the park that can be utilized for walking, biking, or horseback riding. Next time you’re in the Sioux Falls area, make sure to check out Newton Hills State Park for an afternoon of fall fun.

Spearfish Canyon

Nestled in western South Dakota, Spearfish Canyon is the place to visit if you make a trip through the Black Hills this time of year. The scenic twenty mile drive through the canyon boasts incredible views of flowing waterfalls and towering cliffs throughout the year, but the spectacular backdrop during the early fall months is an especially stunning sight to behold. While the autumn colors reach their brilliant peak between late September and early October, during the entire fall season the canyon is a must-stop for those who love outdoor fun amid jaw-dropping scenery. While you’re driving on Highway 14 through the canyon, there are many areas where you can pull over and do some exploring. Hiking trails throughout the canyon are plentiful, and offer varying difficulty so that anyone can get in a little workout enjoying the breath-taking views. Or bring your bicycle along and pedal through the winding roads while basking in the brisk autumn weather. The streams and ponds along the way hold various species of trout, making fishing a popular activity while making a trek through the canyon. An afternoon spent in Spearfish Canyon will be sure to get you in the spirit of this elegant season.

Sica Hollow State Park

Fall is often synonymous with Halloween, making now the perfect time to visit Sica Hollow State Park in northeast South Dakota. The word “Sica” means bad or evil in the Dakota language, with the state park being named as such because of the iron-red tinted water which flows throughout the park, resembling blood. The area also contains beautiful fall foliage as well, making it as gorgeous as it is spooky.  There are many trails winding throughout the park where you can enjoy an afternoon hike, as well as multiple trails for horseback riding. Campsites are also available for an overnight stay, if you dare. The mysterious, beautiful park is a great place to enjoy the autumn colors on an eerie October afternoon in South Dakota.

While you’re out relishing in the magnificence of nature, make sure to stop into Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo and check out our huge, unique collection of antiques, a perfect activity for rounding out an autumn day. So pull on a cozy sweater, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and head out for a fall adventure today.


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