I have a few requirements for family-friendly trails: they aren’t too strenuous, they aren’t so long that I hear a chorus of “are we there yet” every few minutes, and most importantly, they have things to keep hikers of all ages excited about the journey. Bonus points for pretty scenery that makes for great family photos. Luckily, there are plenty of fun and family-friendly trails across South Dakota, from hikes along the large rivers and prairies in the east to trails with sweeping mountain views in the west.
Good Earth State Park is the newest state park, but one of the oldest inhabited spots in the state. The Oneota people inhabited the area around 1500 A.D., but others lived in the area as early as 6500 B.C. Nestled along the banks of the Big Sioux River, southeast of Sioux Falls, the park is home to wildlife, large oak trees, and this 3.1-mile loop trail. The kids will love looking for birds, deer, and other wildlife. The park also hosts a variety of kid-friendly activities throughout the year to get youngsters even more excited about hiking through the park.