This post is provided by Jenna Carda, intern for South Dakota Department of Tourism
Founder’s Park – Rapid City
It has been “summer” for me for the past three weeks, and finally I was able to get in my first hike of the season! When my friend asked me to check out the trails at Founder’s Park in Rapid City, I was a little weary.
The park is located right off West Omaha – a very busy street. It has recently been remodeled with a big parking lot, nice bathrooms and a large memorial as you walk towards the center. I thought this hike was going to be a walk on manicured trails, but I was wrong!
To my surprise there were a lot of different trails you could start at. They ranked from easy to strenuous and intertwined with each other, which was nice because you could make the route as long as you wanted to. Of course some paths were nicely kept up and seemed to be easy for people to push strollers around. Others were tiny trails with rocks everywhere that weaved in and out of the trees.
Our first trail we hiked led us to the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology “M”. Now, being a student at Black Hills State University, I’m not going to go into detail about that school since they are our rivals. I must say, though, the hike to the M was fun. It was an overall easy path – with options, of course, of path intensity – and the view from the top was awesome looking out over Rapid City.
After hiking the M trail, we wandered around for another trail head and started our way up. Instead of following the markers to that particular trail, we intertwined different paths together. After running into people jogging up parts of the trails that were more level – crazy, I know – and others walking their dogs, we ran into an intense bike trail. If you are someone who likes to mountain bike, you should check it out.
After four hours of wandering around in the hills, we made our way back down to the park. We decided to cool off and stick our feet in Rapid Creek which runs by the cemented running/walking/biking paths. It was freezing since it just decided to be summer in South Dakota a few weeks ago, but felt amazing after hiking around.
If you want an escape from the commotion going on in town, you should check out Founder’s Park. For literally being in town, you don’t even realize you are it once you head up the trails. It was a great hike with a good friend and I can’t wait to go back!