Sica Hollow State Park - Hiking

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About

Summary

Sica Hollow is a scenic, wooded state park in the northeast corner of South Dakota, with 15 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. It's well-known for having a rugged beauty and a eerie history.

Written by

Abbie Mood

Distance

0.0 miles

The main horse trail through the park is a total of 15 miles, and the interpretive trail is just .5 miles. There are many junctions along the way to shorten or lengthen your hike.

Destination Distance From Downtown

314.6 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

The trails are dirt and relatively smooth, but there are some steep gullies and more technical sections.

Time To Complete

1 hours

Varies from 30 minutes to 5+ hours, depending on how long you want to be out there.

Seasonality

Spring, Summer, and Fall

The park is open year round, and you can cross country ski in the winter, but hiking is best when there isn't snow on the ground. A great time to go is in the fall, when the bright colors are at their best.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

There are often horseback riders on the trails, so if your dog is afraid of horses, it may be better to leave him at home.

Fees Permits

Yes

The entrance fee is $4/person or $6/vehicle. You can also purchase an annual pass for $30. If you want to camp at the park, there is a $13 fee.

Review

Intro

Sica Hollow is a scenic, wooded state park in the northeast corner of South Dakota, with 15 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The Sioux Indians called the area "sica", meaning evil or bad, believing that the reddish water in the springs was the blood of their ancestors (it's actually because of the minerals in the water). Over time, the rumors have grown to include Bigfoot sightings and mysterious disappearances in quicksand. But don't let that stop you from visiting - the park is peaceful and beautiful with babbling brooks, small waterfalls, and abundant wildflowers.

What Makes It Great

Though the legends of Sica Hollow State Park are widely contested, one thing everyone agrees on is that the park is a beautiful and unique place in South Dakota. There are two main trails to choose from, though there are many intersections that will give you the option to shorten or lengthen your trek.

The Sica Hollow Horse Trail is the longer trail, at 15 miles, and is open to hikers, bikers, and (you guessed it!) horses. It traverses the park from the north to south rim, running through a variety of habitats from a wildflower-filled prairie to wetlands with small crustaceans and minnows. The trail dips in and out of wooded gullies, with an amazing view of the entire park at the high point. Sitting at the western-most edge of the Eastern Hardwood forest, there are more than 200+ plants throughout the park, some that are considered rare in the state.

The 0.5-mile interpretive trail, Trail of the Spirits, has been a Registered National Recreation Trail since 1971. It's a little hilly, but the path is smooth and is for hiking only. The self-guided walking tour heads through a thick canopy of ironwood, elm, oak, and maple trees and across rustic bridges over icy creeks. Learn about the history of the area as you look for wild roses  and listen for the gurgling bogs and rapidly moving streams in the spring.

Who is Going to Love It

Sica Hollow's trails can be enjoyed by the whole family, and is a wonderful place for hiking, biking, riding horses, and bird watching. Hobby botanists will love trying to identify all of the different types of plants found throughout the park, and those who appreciate Native American history can learn a lot about the area on the interpretive trail.

There are eight campsites if you want to spend the weekend exploring the park. If you love a good ghost story, there is plenty to talk about around the campfire!

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Though the address is 44950 Park Road in Sisseton, South Dakota, Sica Hollow State Park is actually 15 miles northwest of Sisseton, off Highway 10.

Cell phone service may be spotty throughout the park, and bring plenty of water if you are heading out on the Sica Hollow Horse Trail.

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Location

Sica Hollow State Park

45.7421, -97.242668

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