Friday, December 4, 2015

National Lands: South Dakota

The Mount Rushmore Monument as seen from the v...
The Mount Rushmore Monument as seen from the viewing plaza. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
South Dakota has two interstates. Interstate 29 runs along the eastern border of the state and Interstate 90 runs parallel to the southern border. Badlands National Park is in the southwestern corner of the state just south of Interstate 90 and east of Rapid City. This park has 244,000 acres of beautiful prairie and fossil beds. Camping, hiking and biking are available for visitors as well as auto tours. Wind Cave National Park has beautiful prairies, wildlife and many hiking trails. Under the prairie is Wind Cave which offers tours for visitors. The park is located directly south of Rapid City and Interstate 90. The Candlelight Cave Tour is an amazing experience and visitors can see how people used to explore caves. Jewel Cave National Monument is located in Custer to the southwest of Rapid City. Tennis shoes or hiking boots are needed for the guided tours.

Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is located south of Rapid City and near Interstate 90. This popular attraction attracts millions of tourists every year. In addition to viewing the memorial, visitors can learn about the people who used to inhabit the area. The Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail runs through eleven states. The trail runs north to south through the middle of South Dakota. The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site has three areas to visit along Interstate 90. The Visitors Center is at Exit 131 to the north. The Launch Control facility of Delta 01 is at Exit 127 to the north. The Launch Facility/ Missile Silo is at Exit 116 to the south. These are remnants of the Cold War. Finally, the Missouri National Recreation River offers camping, boating and fishing. The area is in the center of the southern section of the state near the Nebraska border.

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