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Recreation

ll you have to do is open your doors in Rapid City to see it the great outdoors is something bigger here, even more remarkable with the Great Plains as your personal playing field. The Black Hills becomes racetracks, rock faces are welcoming obstacles, creeks and streams the greatest form of transportation you’ve ever known. This is something you don’t want to miss. The 9-to-5 is about to fade away – now it’s just you and vast unexplored lands. This may be a short detour on the road of life, but wow, what a detour.

Let Mother Nature have her say – you can sit back and listen or fly by her at 30 miles an hour, down trails and past rocks as the bike beneath you and the earth meld into one. You came to the right place for adventure. From racing down the miles of single-track just waiting to be biked, clambering up the granite spires of the Black Hills to hitting the links and striving for that hole-in-one, there’s something for everyone.

Camping

The sound of a crackling campfire, the smell of fresh pine forests, and the taste of fire-roasted marshmallows can all be experienced when you camp in Rapid City. Camping facilities range from very rustic to modern with full hookups and showers. Campgrounds can accommodate tents, campers and RVs. Many also offer sleeping or full-service cabin rentals. There are enough campsites in the Black Hills to accommodate nearly 25,000 camping guests.

Biking Trails & Paths

Bicycle touring and pleasure riding are popular activities in Rapid City and the Black Hills area. Within the city limits you’ll find 131/2 miles of trail that wind along Rapid Creek. Wide-shouldered highways are also a favorite among road bike enthusiasts. Some of the most popular rides are Rapid City to Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Needles Highway; Iron Mountain Road; Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway; and the Badlands Loop Road. All have some steep grades and long climbs but the scenery is worth it.

Fishing

Rapid City and the Black Hills are known for their mountain lakes and fresh-water streams brimming with brook, brown and rainbow trout. On the surrounding prairie, reservoirs and ranch stock dams are full of largemouth bass, northern pike and a variety of panfish. The best fishing waters are located at: Deerfield Reservoir and Pactola Reservoir; Stockade Lake, Sheridan Lake, Rapid Creek, French Creek, Spearfish Creek, Spring Creek and Castle Creek. Most waters are stocked and the fishing season never closes in South Dakota. For fishing license and regulation information, visit the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks website.

Golf Courses

Golfing in Rapid City takes you deep into pine forests, across rushing trout streams and alongside spectacular mountain vistas. Golfers are challenged by the tree-lined fairways, unique rock outcroppings and wildlife hazards.

Parks

Rapid City’s prime location at the foot of the Black Hills makes it the ideal place for all types of outdoor recreation and adventures. From leisurely hikes to kayaking to extreme mountain biking, you’ll find it all within the city limits of Rapid City.

Rapid City Urban Mountain Park

With 390 total acres, the Rapid City Urban Mountain Park includes the Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park, Chuck Lien Family Park, Founders Park and the Rapid City Dirt Jump Park.

Skyline Drive Wilderness Area

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy incredible views of Rapid City and the surrounding area from the Skyline Drive Wilderness Area. This 150-acre park features numerous walking, biking, and hiking trails.

Canyon Lake Park

Canyon Lake Park is one of the oldest city parks in Rapid City. The park totals 29 acres and features several picnic areas, a fishing bridge, paddle boat rentals and a variety of outdoor recreation activities. Canyon Lake Park is part of the Rapid City Historic District Tour.

Founders Park

The name for Founders Park came from the fact that the original “founders” of Rapid City had camped on the site when the original town or Rapid City was being laid out. Founders Park is approximately 60 acres; most of the open space was acquired after the 1972 Flood. The parking lot is used as a popular trailhead for the bike path, which runs along Rapid Creek, and for a local Farmers Market during the summer months.

Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park

Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park (HLMP) is one of the premier mountain biking parks in the region, featuring over 12 miles of world-class trails for bikers, hikers and runners of all skill levels. The park is host to Black Hills Fat Tire Festival – a 3-day celebration of mountain biking – and trails providing bikers, hikers, runners, and climbers views of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Harney Peak, The Badlands and Bear Butte.

Memorial Park

Memorial Park, 27 acres in size, was acquired after the 1972 Flood and has become a “memorial” to the 238 people who lost their lives. The park links the downtown area, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City Central High School and The Journey Museum.

Sioux Park

Sioux Park, located next to Storybook Island along Rapid Creek, contains 220 acres and is home to the William Noordermeer Formal Gardens.

Wilson Park

Wilson Park was constructed in the late 1930s and is located in the West Boulevard Historic District. The 4-acre park features formal gardens that started out as a Japanese Garden, then abandoned after war was declared with Japan.

Enjoy Rapid City’s Man-Made Lakes

Fourteen man-made lakes provide boat launching, water skiing, sailing, paddle boating, canoeing, wind-surfing and scuba diving. Swimming in the crystal-clear water offers a refreshing and invigorating experience that you’ll never forget. Rentals can be found throughout the city. There is a never ending list of places to “explore” in the Black Hills.

Sports

Rapid City is the place to go if you are looking for professional hockey, world-class American Legion baseball and PRCA Rodeo action. Local, regional and statewide high school athletics can also be enjoyed in Rapid City. Did we also mention you can get your game on at basketball, soccer and motor cross events?

Rapid City Rush Hockey

Rapid City Rush Hockey brings the excitement of the ECHL action to the Black Hills. Don’t miss the fast-paced action on the ice!

American Legion Baseball

Rapid City Post 22 American Legion Baseball has won dozens of state titles and made several appearances in the American Legion Baseball World Series, winning a title in 1993.

Central States Fair and Rodeo

The Central States Fair and Rodeo events include a carnival, free stage entertainment, beer tents, PRCA Range Days Rodeo and Grandstand events. This popular event is held annually in August.

Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo

The fast-paced action of rodeo moves indoors every January at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo features PRCA Extreme Bull Riding, bronco busting and many other rodeo events. Visitors can also enjoy livestock shows, auctions and free entertainment for the whole family.

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