Mountain & Trail News

    New Recreation Offerings Planned for South Carolina’s Big Sioux Recreation Area

    An expanded Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon will soon offer additional outdoor opportunities.

    Acquisition of the final 15 acres of a 123-acre expansion will be finalized in coming weeks.

    In late 2010, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, City of Brandon and South Dakota Parks & Wildlife Foundation partnered to purchase 108 acres of land just north of the recreation area and immediately west of Brandon. The three entities have again joined together to purchase the final 15-acre parcel. The focus now shifts to restoring the area’s natural habitat and developing recreational opportunities.

    “We are very excited to be able to further enhance recreational opportunities in the area,” said Jason Baumann, park manager of Big Sioux Recreation Area. “The park expansion will allow us to offer some recreational experiences that we could not do before because of the limited size of the park.”

    The land will offer new and expanded recreational opportunities including:

    • Extension of the park’s paved bike trail to Holly Boulevard, which could eventually meet up with the Sioux Falls bike trail
    • A second canoe launch
    • Expansion of the Valley of the Giants Trail
    • A dog-training area
    • Re-establishment of natural wildlife habitat from present agricultural fields
    • Shore fishing and archery hunting opportunities.

    “We have already started some development at the dog-training area and future site of the north canoe launch,” said Baumann. “The public will have immediate access to the new land, and we hope to complete all development, including the habitat conversion, over the next four years.”

    The Game, Fish and Parks Commission will take action on the purchase of the final 15 acres near Big Sioux Recreation Area at its meeting in Custer State Park on May 3-4. Anyone wishing to comment can do so at the meeting, or by mailing Douglas Hofer, Department of Game, Fish and Parks, 523 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501, or emailing [email protected] prior to May 1.

    People with questions may contact Big Sioux Recreation Area at 605-582-7243.

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