Good Earth State Park Provides Place For Good Exercise

One of my sons is training for a Colorado hiking trip. So last Saturday, he put some weight in a backpack, and we, along with my other kids, went to Good Earth State Park just east of Sioux Falls, SD, for some practice.

Good Earth is South Dakota’s newest state park and is at the Blood Run National Historic Landmark. The name Blood Run comes from a the name of a creek that joins the Big Sioux River.

The park has several walking trails, running through prairie and woods bordering the Big Sioux River. The trails have gentle slopes and make for an easy hike. But, there are several higher places that give wonderful views of nearby farmland, hills, valleys, prairie, old oak woods, and the river. Visitors can also see across the river into Iowa.

Besides being a wonderful place to enjoy the scenery and listen to the birds, Good Earth is also the location of a very special historical site. It was the site of a Native American village from about 1300-1700 A.D. The villagers were from the Oneota culture, and included the Ioway, Ponca, Omaha, and Otto tribes. This was also a major trading location and ceremonial site.

(Photos by Deb Watley)


photo-11 A lazy bend of the Big Sioux River.


photo-9 This photo is from a lookout that gives an expansive view of Iowa. The Native American village was on both sides of the river.


They remind me of Frodo and Sam.


photo-14 The flowers were beautiful!



We walked for about an hour. There is a water fountain at the parking lot, but I’d suggest carrying a water bottle. Also, make sure you bring bug spray! We used a lot!

For more information about Good Earth, check out its official website.

Have you been to Good Earth State Park? What is your favorite thing about it? Where do you like to hike?

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