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Hughes County: The Heart of South Dakota


PIERRE, S.D. – Discover the heart of South Dakota in Hughes County. Home to the state capital of Pierre, the county also includes the communities of Canning, Harrold and Blunt. The county boasts several outdoor, historical and educational opportunities.

Several water recreation activities exist in Hughes County. The Missouri River, which serves as the county’s western border, is treasured by locals and visitors alike. Lake Oahe serves as a boating play land and offers unparalleled fishing year round. Hiking and biking trails make for a wonderfully relaxing outdoor experience.

Hunting is another popular activity in Hughes County. Pheasants, deer, grouse, geese and several more species call the area home. The county offers plenty of public hunting land with prime hunting opportunities.

Pierre, the state capital, is a community offering destinations sure to delight all ages. Tour the dramatic Capitol building, beautiful both inside and out. Enjoy the stunning murals, stained glass, exquisite tile work and wonderful art collections. Relax on a stroll around Capitol Lake and marvel at the beautifully landscaped grounds surrounding the capitol.

Take a step back in time at the Cultural Heritage Center, located northeast of the state Capitol building. Hear recordings of Native Americans speaking Dakota, Lakota and Nakota. Touch the different types of fur traded by trappers in the state’s early days. Learn the history behind the people who made South Dakota the diverse state it is today.

Entertain the younger family members at the South Dakota Discovery Center and Aquarium. More than 60 hands-on exhibits provide fun, interactive learning. Visitors can view several fish species native to the Missouri River at the aquarium.

The Uniquely South Dakota series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight unique aspects and attractions in each of South Dakota’s 66 counties. This profile was researched and compiled by Shayla Waugh, public relations intern for the Office of Tourism.


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