For the second year in a row, South Dakota State Parks have been record-setters.  In 2013, record high numbers were recorded for campers and visitors attending South Dakota State Parks.

The biggest numbers of visitors and campers recorded went to Custer State Park in the Black Hills and Lewis and Clark Recreation Area near Yankton.  The state Department of Game, Fish and Parks say both parks also set their own high numbers for visitors.  Custer State Park recorded 1.9 million visitors and the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area had about 1.2 million visitors.  With those huge numbers, the two parks made up about 40% of the total number of visitors that came to South Dakota's great State Parks.  Between local visitors and those from out-of-state, there are estimates of about 7.8 million tourists and families visiting State Parks.

And if finding a place to camp seemed a bit more difficult, that's because camping numbers also increased in 2013, up 3.2 percent.


Early estimates for the upcoming year are predicting that all of South Dakota State Parks will continue to do quite well with local and out-of-state visitors once again.  And as a reminder, with camping numbers increasing, make your reservation for your favorite camp-site early.