Fall Colors Road Trip

Fall Colors Road Trip

You don't have to go far to enjoy the colors of autumn. Parks throughout the region offer some of the best places to enjoy this colorful season.

Five parks that are within an hour's drive and are bursting with fall color are:

Palisades State Park - Garretson, SD
Palisades provides beautiful scenery any time of year, but especially with the added fall color. The hiking trails follow both sides of Split Rock Creek as they twist and turn through towering quartzite formations. This park is just 20 minutes northeast of Sioux Falls.

Big Sioux Recreation Area - Brandon, SD
Big Sioux is a great place for a fall hike or bike ride. A trail winds along the Big Sioux River, across a suspension bridge, through wooded areas and open prairie. Climb the hill on Prairie Vista Trail for an awe-inspiring view. Big Sioux Rec Area is just 12.5 miles southeast of Palisades State Park.

Falls Park - Sioux Falls, SD
The falls of the Big Sioux River is a park worth spending some time in the fall. There are trails, viewing platforms, a visitor center and a 5-story observation tower with a 360-degree panoramic view of the park and city skyline. The ruins of the Queen Bee Mill is also well worth exploring while you're there. Falls Park is just 9 miles west of Big Sioux Rec Area.

Good Earth State Park - Sioux Falls, SD
Explore over 650 acres of park with nearly ten miles of trails through shady Bur Oak Forest, ravines, native tall grass prairie and along the banks of the Big Sioux River. Stop along the trails at three scenic decks for breath taking views. The Visitor Center features exhibits about this National Historic Landmark and Native American sacred site. Good Earth is South Dakota's newest state park and is located just 11.5 miles southeast of Falls Park or 12 miles south of Big Sioux Rec Area.

Photo by @sodakadventrues

Newton Hills State Park - Canton, SD
Newton Hills has trails and drives perfect for observing fall color. Trees provide a canopy of color over the road that winds through the park. For a more intimate encounter with nature, get out and explore miles of trails that wind through dense forests and open grassland. An observation tower provides a bird’s eye view of a wooded valley. Newton Hills is 22 miles south of Good Earth State Park.

Some other parks that offer a great autumn outing include:

Lake Herman State Park - Madison, SD
The park is located on a peninsula surrounded by the waters of Lake Herman. Find fall color reflected in the lake and along hiking trails.

Photo by @ultras4adventures

Lewis & Clark Recreation Area - Yankton, SD
Trails throughout Lewis & Clark Recreation Area and along the Missouri River offer fall beauty for hikers and bikers. Take the Nature Trail at Gavins Point up to a lookout for amazing views of the river and surrounding bluffs.

Adams Homestead & Nature Preserve - North Sioux City, SD
This park features close to 10 miles of limestone trails that wind through prairie, forest and along the riverbank. You'll also want to explore the restored historical buildings of the Homestead and visit the farm animals at Sonny Acres.

Check out more trails perfect for a fall adventure at southeastsouthdakota.com/outdoor-adventure/trails-and-more/