Looking for a great little adventure without needing to drive a long way? Just head towards Garretson.

We took our kids to Palisades State Park just south of Garretson on Sunday. It was the sort of outing where there were tears because some of the kids didn't get to do what they wanted to do, but that was really our fault because we didn't know how much there was to do.

I had been there a few times but never in the summer. Our trips were either in the fall or spring. Not a time when a swimming suit was on the list of things to bring. Our boys were upset that we didn't bring them but we were unaware that swimming was an option. It would have felt great to float around on a tube on Split Rock Creek.

The best things about it are that it is about a half-hour from Sioux Falls, there are trails to hike on and explore, and it is the most uniquely beautiful site in this corner of the South Dakota.

The hiking trails are covered in a canopy of trees that cover rocky cliffs and natural stairs as well as a few man-made steps here and there. Along the way you can climb little rock features or gigantic quartzite formations. It was mildly nerve-wracking to keep the boys away from ledges but it was harder to stop them climbing everything, including the things that were a little over their capability.

The other thing to keep in mind, despite all of the things to do there is also camping that can be done. Take a trip to check it out and see for yourself. We're definitely heading back soon.

Palisades State Park

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