New Visitor Center Opens at South Dakota Park
The new visitor center just opened at Good Earth State Park at Blood Run, South Dakota’s newest state park. A National Historic Landmark located few miles southeast of Sioux Falls, Blood Run is like a natural island in a sea of residential and commercial development straddling the Big Sioux River in Iowa and South Dakota. There are signs of past human habitation everywhere on the forest floor and meadowlands.
The river, abundant wildlife and wood for fuel, fertile flood plains, availability of catlinite (pipestone) and protection from winds made the area a crossroads of Native American civilization from 1300-1700 AD and possibly even before. Occupants were primarily Oneota Indigenous Peoples, including Omaha, Ioway, Oto and Yankton Sioux tribes. The site is a time capsule of Indigenous culture. No other Oneota site of such size and integrity is known to exist in the United States. The park has accessible hiking trails winding throughout the grounds with scenic overlooks scattered throughout.
The visitor center, a high-beamed building set on a hill, overlooks tall grass prairies and oak forests. Inside, park-goers can see floor-to-ceiling murals depicting the tribes, walk through bison-skin structures and view a film about the site’s history.
For information on the new park and other area attractions, contact the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau, www.visitsiouxfalls.com.