South Dakota Road Trip – Headed East: Part II Back »

Taking the less-traveled roads in South Dakota may very well mean great incentives for the traveler – such as a slower pace and the opportunity to discover treasures that others may simply pass by. If you read my previous article, I hope I convinced you to take a quick trip yet this fall to visit some of our communities and locations that offer opportunities to enjoy nature and explore.

After taking the time to explore communities and sites in southeastern South Dakota, we headed up to the northeastern part of the state, taking a break for a quick stop at the SDSU Dairy Bar in Brookings for some famous SDSU Ice Cream. And even though we made it to Watertown only about 30 minutes before the Terry Redlin Art Center closed for the evening, we were warmly welcomed and given suggestions on what we should see and an invitation to come back when we had more time.

Can you believe these beautiful buildings at Fort Sisseton are over 150 years old?

The next day, we toured the Lake City, SD (population 52) area. We had no idea we could learn so much about history and see some fabulous old buildings dating back about 150 years at Fort Sisseton. As we walked from one historic building to the next, it was easy to imagine the people who lived and worked in that area so many years ago. While the fort’s wooden buildings are long gone, there are still 14 original buildings remaining. This is the way to learn history! In addition to the buildings, there are displays, a video and staff members that made learning so much fun.

Many events are held at Fort Sisseton and now that I have visited there once, attending an event where I can actually experience history without having to have a time machine is on my bucket list.

In spite of Lake City’s small size, there is plenty to see and do. As you might guess by the name of the town, it is surrounded by many glacial lakes that offer a wide variety of outdoor activities. But Lake City isn’t just home of Fort Sisseton and beautiful lakes, it is also near Sica Hollow. We were able to spend the afternoon hiking on the many trails at Sica Hollow through a thick forest of hills, streams, and waterfalls; a place of absolute peace and quiet and beauty.

Friend Julie (with a camera around her neck) and my parents hiking through Sica Hollow. My mom crossing one of the many footbridges in Sica Hollow.

From Lake City, it was time to head back to Highmore and our South Dakota Road Trip was over too quickly. Wanting to make our trip last as long as possible, we found our way on SD Highway 26, a highway that does not run through any incorporated towns, but instead runs along the shore of Spink County’s Cottonwood Lake.

As you are planning fun things to do on the weekends, I encourage you to take the road less traveled. Drive the roads you normally do not drive and visit the towns you might usually drive past, or perhaps haven’t even heard of before. As we approach the fall months, there are (hopefully) plenty of weekends left for you and your family to set off on your own South Dakota Road Trip! And I would enjoy hearing about your adventures too!

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