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Palisades State Park, Garretson

#19 of 53 in Nature in South Dakota
Must see · State Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Palisades State Park is a state park of South Dakota, USA, featuring cliffs and rock formations eroded out of pink Sioux Quartzite. The park is located just south of Garretson, 10mi off Interstate 90. At only 157acre, it is South Dakota's second-smallest state park.
The Sioux Quartzite rocks are 1.2 billion years old and up to 50ft high. They are exposed on either side of Split Rock Creek, which also flows through Split Rock Creek State Park in Minnesota. Within the quartzite are deposits of catlinite, a softer mineral essential to many Native American groups to make ceremonial pipes. The park lies on the Coteau des Prairies, a plateau on the northern Great Plains.
Pioneers settled in the area beginning in 1865. In the 1870s Split Rock Creek was harnessed to power a large flour and feed mill, and a town called Palisades formed around it. Silver was discovered shortly downstream in 1886, prompting a short-lived silver rush but the ore was found to be low quality. Three years later Garretson became a railroad junction and most of Palisades relocated to the north. A steel truss bridge built over Split Rock Creek in 1908 is on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Palisades State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
111 reviews
  • We stopped in while we were in the area to do a hike. We did the Split Creek trail. It said it was 1.5 miles round trip but seemed more like 2 miles. It was a very nice trail mostly along the creek...  more »
  • You must check out this park. Amazing vistas and walking trails. Small rapids and huge rocks to climb. Not far from Sioux Falls South Dakota.  more »
  • Enjoyed a 1 night stay in Aug ‘19. It was our 1st stop on a 10 stop itinerary. The good ....... very clean facilities. Helpful staff. Quiet. Nice river and a beautiful cavern area. Spacious sites. The OK ..... not much to do in surrounding area. No camp store to speak of.
  • This is a beautiful place to visit and gorgeous girlfriend and I had a great time seeing all of the beautiful sites. We did alot of walking and got some great pictures. Everybody there was so friendly. We had an amazing time and will probably be making another trip there again in the future. This is a remarkable piece of nature and everybody needs to see this extraordinary place at least once in their lifetime.

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