South Dakota’s Best Family-Friendly Trails

When bringing your kids along on a trail trek, there are many things you need to consider. The path might not seem difficult to you, but their little legs can get tired before you know it. Bringing sufficient snacks and drinks, of course, is a must. But perhaps most importantly, you want to choose a trail that’ll keep your kids interested — what good is a trip if you’re hearing complaints all along?

Luckily, the plains of South Dakota got you covered. You’ll be able to enjoy the scenic beauty to the fullest while managing to snag some quality family photos along the way. Here are some perfect paths to travel along with your loved ones.

Devil’s Bathtub

Don’t let the name scare you off. The small canyon isn’t scary at all, even though locals might have you think so. In fact, the existence of this trail is little known to the public, which is part of the reason why it is so well-preserved.

If you manage to find where the trail begins, only half a mile will separate you from a beautiful canyon. Natural pools and waterslides are waiting there, perfect for a quick summer dip. The place is a perfect spot for photos, just try not to get swept away by the running waters!

Cathedral Spires Trail

This lead-up-to-the-spires climbing area also doubles as a trail that’s sure to satisfy anyone’s need for adventure. While the climb itself might prove too difficult for your kids, the road is nothing to scoff at either. You might need to find a way over a few rocks or fight against the ferns lined across the trail, but it’s well worth the effort.

Gavin’s Point Nature Trail

A perfect trail to bolster everybody’s spirits by teaching them about the adventures of Lewis and Clark. The trail enframes the lake named after the two adventurers who ascended to legend. And, as you’d assume, it’s not quite easy.

You’ll be crossing marshes and walking through forests as you make your way along the two-mile trail. A handsome reward awaits at the end, however — a gazebo with a perfect view of the Missouri River, which is sure to take your breath away. It’s worth mentioning that the gazebo is a great spot for a picnic.

Riparian Trail

The trail is located in the Good Earth State Park, which, while it earned its Park title recently, is one of the state’s first inhabited spots. The trail itself is breathtaking, with developed flora and fauna. Kids will love traveling around the three-mile loop while spotting deer and other animals.

To make things even better, there are a ton of events hosted yearlong. If you happen to catch any, they’re sure to enhance the already amazing experience the trail has to offer.

Notch Trail

Now this one’s a little tricky. The 1.5-mile length might seem timid at first, but the road is anything but. It wiggles up a mountain formation, making the climb seem scary even to some adults. If your kids are afraid of heights, you might want to steer clear of this road, and even if they’re not, you should keep a close eye on them.

In the end, what awaits you is a large canyon the trail gets its name from. The Notch provides a clear view of the White River Valley, making the trip well worth the effort.

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