For me, cross country skiing has turned winter from several months to endure inside into a reason to look forward to 3 or more inches of snow. Several areas in South Dakota offer beautiful skiing. I’ll detail a few that we have tried, and list other sites for you to explore at the end of this post. You can chime in with yours in the comments.
My favorite cross country skiing trails are in Big Sioux Recreation Area. In Eastern South Dakota, this gem of a nature area near Sioux Falls hides some beautiful deciduous-and-evergreen trails. Many follow the Big Sioux River.
Out west, the Mickelson Trail. In the winter, the gentle grade of this trail and natural beauty of the surroundings makes it some of the best cross country skiing you will ever experience. The Black Hills are gorgeous any time of year, and the snow creates a wonderful contrast with the dark green evergreens. The Mick is my all time favorite place to cross country ski in Western South Dakota.
Newton Hills State Park. This popular state park in Canton - south of Sioux Falls - offers miles of trails that can be skied, hiked or ridden. The huge trees offer a lovely background for a cold, crisp ski.
Beaver Creek Nature Area. This park, too, is located close to Brandon near Sioux Falls. Its flat trails running through trees and over prairie - featuring glimpses of Beaver Creek - can offer solitude along with winter wonder.
LaFromboise Island Nature Area. This island is covered in trees and meadows. Its flat terrain make it a great place to cross country ski. The island was mentioned by Lewis and Clark, as they spotted many elk and buffalo on the island.
Other South Dakota sites that offer cross country skiing:
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