Two outstanding fall-foliage destinations in South Dakota

Forbes Traveler recently included the Black Hills in its list of 15 prettiest fall-foliage drives:

Highest point between the Rocky Mountains and Western Europe, the Black Hills have all the ingredients for the perfect autumn drive — plentiful trees, endless views and rich local history. The hills are best explored on two scenic byways — the 68-mile Peter Norbeck and the 20-mile Spearfish Canyon — on either side of Mt. Rushmore. Spruce, aspen, birch and oak are among the local trees that transform come fall, although the ubiquitous Ponderosa pine (dark when seen from the surrounding prairie) is what gives the hills their name. Base your stay in the town of Custer for the Peter Norbeck drive and Deadwood for the Spearfish Canyon journey.

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Additionally, the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks sent out a news release recently about another great-but-lesser-known South Dakota fall-foliage destination: Sica Hollow State Park, in the extreme northeast corner of the state. The park will host a "Blaze of Color" walk tomorrow afternoon, according to the release:

SICA HOLLOW STATE PARK, S.D. – The maples, lindens, ash, elm and oak trees all exhibit a different fall color, and they blend together in a final display of color during the “Blaze of Color” Walk in the Park on Sept. 19.

“Join us as we wander along the Trail of the Spirits amongst the falling leaves, find the final flowers of the year, and examine how the outdoors prepare for the coming winter,” encourages Dave Daberkow, park supervisor.

At 2 p.m., the guided nature walk will take visitors along the Trail of the Spirits, a designated National Recreation Trail, and through the Sica Hollow woodland. Along the way, visitors will identify native plants and wildlife, discover American Indian legends and learn about the natural forces that created the hollow, all while immersed in the hollow’s famous fall foliage. …

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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