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Select South Dakota State Parks host “Hike and Seek,” see uptick in park entries

Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 8:43 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - State Parks across South Dakota are seeing an uptick in visitors throughout 2020, and while park entries are on the rise there are some prizes you can win during your outdoor adventure.

The Creatures of the Night Hike and Seek serves as a way to educate hikers about animals that primarily come out at night, and is a good way to involve the community amid a pandemic.

“The whole idea is to provide really good recreation, it’s self-guided so people can socially distance, and kind of a healthy aspect to get out and go for a hike in this beautiful fall weather we’re having,” said District Park Supervisor at Newton Hills State Park Jason Baumann.

How it works? Take a selfie with the entrance sign, and collect code words from signs throughout the trail.

After the hike is complete, send the selfie with the entrance sign and all the code words to parkinfo@state.sd.us to be in a drawing to win prizes.

“There’s coats that they can win, blankets, a blanket gift set that has can koozies. The more trails they do the more entries they have at a chance at winning,” Baumann added.

Baumann says the Game, Fish, and Parks is seeing a 30% increase in visitors from last year statewide, and an even bigger gap at his location.

“For example, I’m at Newton Hills and visitation for the park here is up 70% compared to last year. That is a huge increase and it’s been a great thing; it’s been a wonderful thing for the state parks,” said Baumann.

Rick Kennedy, of Indiana, hiked the trails at Newton Hills for the first time on Sunday as part of a trip to South Dakota with his son, and says State Parks are a good escape from reality.

“It’s been great. We’ve been couped up quite a bit the last year, and so getting outdoors and hiking is kind of the one thing you can still do,” said Kennedy.

To find the State Parks participating in Hike and Seek, or for more information on how to enter to win, you can go to gfp.sd.gov.

Hike and Seek is set to run through the month of October.

Copyright 2020 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.

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