Good Earth State Park draws many visitors this weekend - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Good Earth State Park draws many visitors this weekend

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The Good Earth State Park has officially been a state park for only a year. To get the word out, park employees say planned programs have been key.

It was a beautiful Saturday to be outside enjoying nature. Many families took advantage of the sunshine and participated in the Good Earth Challenge.

"Basically the whole family's involved where we're getting out into the park and seeing the different sights and looking for animal tracks and looking for mushrooms and that kind of thing," said Cortney Adair, Seasonal Naturalist at Good Earth State Park.

This is the Smith family's first time out to Good Earth State Park. 

"We just went on a nice long hike, right? So we did a nice little two-mile hike," said Todd Smith.

Parents to four little ones, Amber and Todd say if you're looking for a way to tire your kids out -- this is the place to do it. It's good family time and good scenery they say.

"As it is right now, it's more natural. It doesn't have all the extra stuff set up yet. It's actually really nice that way," said Smith.

Right now there are only three miles of trails at Good Earth State Park.

"And it's so exciting too that to be here before there's anything -- before there's a  building, before there's even more trails. To be part of something that's so new is very exciting," said Adair.

"Yeah it's some cool stuff. It's not the Egyptian Pyramids, but it's what people had here," said John Hutchinson, Sioux Falls.

Hutchinson lives just five minutes away from Good Earth State Park. Saturday, he took his life-long friend, Joe from Virginia, on his first hike there.

"I like that combination of it's a naturally very beautiful site but it also has a very ancient history to it with the native groups that were here thousands of years ago. And so to have that preserved in one place is pretty cool," said Hutchinson.

Joe Fishbein first visited South Dakota in 2012 to visit his buddy, John. He says he loved what he saw and he's been coming back every year since.

"Well I've been here for all of five minutes and so far I'm liking what I'm seeing. I'm liking the natural beauty and I'm liking the quietness of it. You have to figure that right now in other parts of the country -- shopping malls are full, the radio traffic reports read like a war-zone and out here, there's like quiet," said Fishbein.

"It's more than just the natural history, it's the cultural history that's so important and it just reminds us of something that's worth remembering," said Hutchinson.

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