South Dakota State Parks Participate in the 2008 South Dakota Great Day of Play Aug. 2

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PIERRE, S.D. – Healthy South Dakota and South Dakota State Parks encourage children, adults and families to “play.” The second annual South Dakota Great Day of Play is an opportunity to participate in events happening on July 30 at city park and recreation departments and Aug. 2 at state park and recreation areas.

The overall goal of the day is to encourage children, adults and families to get outside and “play” or be physically active. City and state park and recreation agencies throughout the state will provide activities, such as disc golf, canoeing, or free swimming for the public. The following state parks and recreation areas will be hosting events for the Great Day of Play on Aug. 2.

Angostura Recreation Area Angostura Recreation Area near Hot Springs
GPS Adventures, 9 a.m. at Cascade Campground and 11 a.m. at Horsehead Campground. Using modern technology with outdoor recreation is growing in popularity. This program takes visitors through the basic uses of GPS and how the system can be used for “fun” in park settings across the country.

Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon
Disc Golf Tournament, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Teams should sign-up at the picnic shelter for the 8-hole tournament of disc golf. Discs will be available for those who need them. Prizes will be awarded to the top 2 teams at noon.

Custer State Park near Custer
Guided Mountain Bike Ride, 2 p.m. Participants need to provide their own off-road bike. The guided ride takes interested visitors along a two-track fire trail following Grace Coolidge Creek and showcases the habitat where land and water collide.
The Secrets of Skulls Patio Activity, 2 p.m. Participants can view and touch various wildlife skulls. Visitors will learn about the adaptations within a species that helps them survive in the natural world.

Farm Island Recreation Area near Pierre
Riverman/Riverwoman Triathlon, Registration and check-in: 6:30 – 7:30 a.m., Rules meeting: 7:40 a.m., Race start time: Immediately following completion of rules meeting. Swim 0.4 miles along the beach, Bike 18 miles on SD Hwy 34, Run 3.5 miles on the island trail. Park entrance licenses are required to enter the park. The competition will be divided into several divisions with separate classes for men, women, and teams.

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park near Lake City
Triathlon of Play, 2-5 p.m. Fishing: 1 hour (Cattail Lake). Hiking: 1 hour (Fort’s interpretive trail). Outdoor Games: 1 hour (Parade Ground). Participants who complete all three activities receive a beach ball!

Farm Island Recreation Area Indian Creek Recreation Area near Mobridge
Play the Old-Fashioned Way, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Families play traditional games: Jacks, Hula-Hoop, Marbles, Croquet. Prizes will be awarded.

Lake Thompson Recreation Area near Lake Preston
Family Fun Pioneer Day, Events start at 10 a.m. with an evening program at 7 p.m. Take part in old time games, crafts and a program about the Laura Ingalls Wilder family and their history around the twin lakes area . 

Lewis and Clark Recreation Area near Yankton
Disc Golf, Biking Trails and Beaches available all day.
Lewis and Clark Nature Walk, 10 a.m., Gavins Nature Trail at the west end of Lewis and Clark Recreation Area. Learn about various plants and animals as you walk along the beautiful nature trail.

Roughlock Falls Nature Area in Spearfish Canyon
Nature Hike, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Enjoy the two mile round-trip hike on Roughlock Trail.

Data shows that 16.3% of South Dakota students 5 to 19 years old surveyed are overweight or obese.  Additionally, 23.4% of South Dakota adults reported in 2006 that they do not obtain regular physical activity, which is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“We urge individuals to use these statewide events to get out and play and get active for life,” said Lynn Spomer, Visitor Services Coordinator for the Division of Parks and Recreation. “In addition to the Great Day of Play, state parks and recreation areas offer many activities throughout the summer and fall months that encourage families to enjoy the outdoors.”

Go to for a complete list of participating sites and activities happening in your area.  For more information about South Dakota State Parks and Recreation Areas, call (605)773-3391 or go online to