There's nothing like spending a few hours outdoors enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer. And what better place to explore but right in your own backyard? The Sioux Falls area has some fantastic hiking trails. Thanks to Experience Sioux Falls, a new hiking guide is out so start exploring today.

What a great resource, Experience Sioux Falls is really on top of everything our city has to offer and that includes scenic outdoor fun. You may think that all these places are part of a state park. Well, some are which require a State Park sticker to enter. And some you don't.

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Here are the parks that made the list:

1) Palisades State Park

2) Newton Hills State Park

3) Good Earth State at Blood Run

4) Great Bear Recreation Park

5) Falls Park and The Big Sioux River Recreational Trail and Greenway

One of my favorites is Good Earth State Park at Blood Run. And yes you will need a park permit to enter. Once you hit the entrance your sites immediately are fixed on the prairie grasses. A short drive to the visitor’s center and the view overlooking the beautiful valley of the Big Sioux River gives you such calm.

For many, while enjoying skiing and tubing in the winter, Great Bear Recreation Park is a close escape that offers off-season hiking on eight miles of trail. Oh, and there is no permit required.

And right in the middle of Sioux Falls, we have our Outdoor Campus. Another free one here. This may be one of the shortest trails in the offering at just two miles but you find the beauty, nature, and peaceful setting that will seem like an out-of-the-way hike that's just a short drive away. And, on campus, you will find the South Dakota Game Fish & Parks offices.

Check out your next hike today. And remember to spread the word to family and friends so when they come to visit Sioux Falls everyone can enjoy more than just your home cooking.

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