Visits to South Dakota State Parks were back on track in 2012 after a 2011 burdened with widespread flooding.
State parks saw record visitation and camping in 2012 after spring flooding in northeastern South Dakota and along the James River and summer-long flooding on the Missouri River closed several parks and damaged others in 2011.
“Our park staff was extremely busy from the fall of 2011 through the spring of 2012 making repairs before last year’s park season,” said State Parks and Recreation Director Doug Hofer.
In 2012, state parks hosted over 7.9 million visitors statewide and 270,000 overnight camping units. Visitation increased by 11 percent and camping by over 13 percent compared to 2011’s flood-impacted numbers. Park usage is back to the record numbers that were set in 2010.
“I am very proud of all the park staff, volunteers and contractors who worked together to ensure that South Dakota’s state park system was able to host a record number of visitors in 2012,” Hofer said.
Fisher Grove State Park near Redfield is the only campground that remained closed last summer. Plans call for relocating that campground this spring, and it should be open next summer.
Logo courtesy South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks