PIERRE, SD (KELO AM) – To kick off summer, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is encouraging families to spend the weekend outside during the Parks' Open House Weekend and Free Fishing Weekend May 16-18.
During the annual three-day event, anglers can fish without a license anywhere in the state, and entrance fees are waived for all visitors to South Dakota's state parks and recreation areas. Camping fees still apply. Fishing regulations and limits apply.
Open House Weekend coincides with National Kids to Parks Day and special events are planned for parks across the state in an effort to get kids outside to discover the history, nature and adventure right around the corner or just across town.
Attend one of these events to be held on Saturday, May 17.
125th Birthday Card Hunt Kickoff, Newton Hills State Park near Canton. Info: 605.987.2263
Nature Hike, Good Earth State Park near Sioux Falls, 9 a.m. CT. Info: 605.987.2263
Kids Fishing Derby, Lake Louise Recreation Area near Miller, 9 a.m. to noon CT. Info: 605.853.2533
Step Outside, Newton Hills State Park near Canton, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT. Pre-registration required: 605.987.2263 or NewtonHills@state.sd.us
Kids to Parks Day, Richmond Lake Recreation Area near Aberdeen, 10 a.m. CT. Info: 605.626.3488
Kites and Castles, North Point Recreation Area near Pickstown, 10 a.m. to noon CT. Info: 605.487.7046
Family Fishing, Palisades State Park near Garretson, 2 p.m. CT. Info: 605.594.3824
Disc Golf Demonstration and Instruction, Hartford Beach State Park near Milbank, 2-4 p.m. CT. Info: 605-882-5205
Kids to Parks Day, Mina Lake Recreation Area near Aberdeen, 3 p.m. CT. Info: 605.626.3488
Dust off the Dutch Ovens, Chief White Crane Recreation Area near Yankton, 7 p.m. CT. Info: 605.668.2985
South Dakota Birthday Bash, Big Sioux Recreation Area near Brandon, 7 p.m. CT. Info: 605.582.7243
Custer State Park will also be hosting a number of family activities both Saturday and Sunday, including cookouts, nature hikes, free hayrack rides, a fishing derby, nature programs and demonstrations. A full schedule of events can be found at www.custerstatepark.com.
Camping reservations at South Dakota State Parks can be made 24 hours a day. Make reservations online at www.campsd.com or by calling 1-800-710-2267.
South Dakota State Parks offer a wide variety of outdoor fun, including camping, picnicking and boating. Many parks also offer trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
For information on fishing, fishing license and fishing regulations or the South Dakota State Park system, visit the GFP website at www.gfp.sd.gov.