Winter could potentially be snowy/ icy or close the narrow dead end road and the heat of a summer afternoon could be uncomfortable for a run. Spring and fall or the early morning/ late evening summer hours are probably the peak times with the most dedicated runners visiting this one in the winter.
On Leash Only
Dogs are required to be on a 10ft or less leash in all South Dakota State Parks.
Good Earth State Park, just minutes from the Sioux Falls metro area, is a newly developed state park along the Big Sioux River that was once a gathering place for trade and ceremonies for Native American tribes. The park features a variety of terrain: muddy river flood plains, gentle sloping bluffs, prairie grassland meadows, and hardwood forests. A visitor center and day use picnic area are currently being developed along with additions to the trail system. The current trail system encompasses about 3.5 miles of trail in various connected loops. It's a great place for a quick escape into nature close to the city.
What Makes It Great
This area is relatively close to the suburban areas of Sioux Falls and only a short ride away but feels like a true nature experience once you're a short distance away from the parking lot. The Grand Ravine Trail offers access to a number of loop trails and connects all of them. This allows you to complete a quick but some what challenging trail run varying in length from a little over half a mile to upwards of 3 miles.
The gentle, wide, well graded trails offer a great introduction to trail running and a quick workout in a nature setting. Combining the loops and some of the longer sloping sections ascending the bluffs above the Big Sioux River could also challenge better trail runners. The varied scenery here from river flats to rolling bluffs, prairie meadows, and old hardwood tree stands make for a scenic escape close to town.
Who is Going to Love It
This is a great place for a wide range of trail runners. Beginners will appreciate the easy navigation and short distance options while more experienced runners will like the varied terrain and ability to link loops for a longer work out.
Whether you're just starting trail running or a more experienced runner, visiting the area you could find something fun here and appropriate for your skill level. Being so close to Sioux Falls, its also a great spot for a quick workout in a natural setting in a pretty spot.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Use South Dakota Highway 11 and turn east bound on 85th Street. Follow this for a couple miles and turn left into the marked parking area close to the dead end of the road.
From the east cross into South Dakota from Highway 42 and head south on SD 11 using the directions above. From the west use I-29 exit 73 (Tea) and turn eastbound on 271st St. Follow this for 7 miles and then turn North on SD 11. Follow the directions above. Parking is available in a gravel lot that is signed as a State Park.
A South Dakota State Park sticker is required for entry into all South Dakota State Parks. When the new visitor center is completed they will be available for sale here, in the meantime you can pick them up at a number of retailers in Sioux Falls.