Great Bear Nature Trail

Sometimes, we like to head out for a hike at the Great Bear Nature Trail in Sioux Falls, SD. Great Bear is actually a ski park in the winter, but they open up their trails for hiking in the summer. The parts we enjoy are all in the wooded areas. They also have a tallgrass prairie area too. This is the Valley Trail.

We’ve always chuckled at Great Bear Nature Trail’s maps. They are the variety where you have to figure out which direction you’re going because the map is the same no matter where you are. We pretty much know which trails we want now, but I still take a picture so we can turn it the right direction.

This is part of the Skyline Trail. I’m pretty sure this climb is the only reason for the “moderate” rating, but the view from the top is worth the effort.

Fun Fact

Did you know that you can ask Siri for your altitude? We have fun asking that when we’re on road trips and hikes. The Skyline Trail overlook is at 1493 feet and the Valley Trail is at 1387, so just a little more than a 100 foot gain in elevation on that climb.

Photos don’t do this view justice. You can really see a lot of the Sioux Falls landmarks from this overlook.

Visiting the Landmarks

After the skyline view of Sioux Falls, we decided that we needed to look at a few of the landmarks we saw on the sign. The first stop was Falls Park. We also found the McKennan Park and Terrace Park band shells, the VA Hospital, and the Old Courthouse Museum, but it was getting too dark for good pictures.

Our evening tour of Sioux Falls was almost over when we heard a bang and saw fireworks starting at Canary Stadium, just around the corner from where we were. We found a spot to park and watch from across the street. They were no Walt Disney World fireworks, but it made a perfect end to our tour of Sioux Falls. After the fireworks were over, we decided to get ice cream cones at Burger King, but they had already cleaned their machine, so we improvised and bought a three pack of Magnum Ice Cream Bars at Walmart. Those ice cream bars are as close to a Disney Mickey Bar as we can get in South Dakota. It was a perfect summer evening…a hike with a view, a cruise through town, fireworks, and ice cream bars. It doesn’t get much better than that!

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