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South Dakota's Great Places: Palisades State Park

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PIERRE, S.D.—Nestled in the eastern part of the state is an area that is lined with scenic overlooks and rushing river water. Near the small-town of Garretson, Palisades State Park is one of South Dakota’s Great Places. 


Stunning red quartzite formations serve as a major part of the Palisades’ landscape. The formations allow unique backdrops for pictures, making it a sought-after location by photographers.


Palisades once was a growing community that became successful because of a flour mill that overlooked the park. Rushing water from historic Split Rock Creek powered a large water-wheel for the flour mill.


Today, Palisades State Park makes for a picturesque daytrip or weekend getaway. It features a wide variety of recreational activities, including fishing, hiking, volleyball, canoeing, and kayaking. Picnic tables and a playground are also part of the setting.


In addition, rock climbing within Palisades State Park is a unique eastern South Dakota experience. Palisades State Park has ten established rock climbing trails. The quartzite rock surfaces developed at the park range from glacier-polished to slightly gritty on fresh surfaces, offering a wide variety of face and crack climbs.


Visitors will also find Palisades State Park to be an ideal camping spot with cabins, lodges, and campsites available. The park features comfort stations with flush toilets and showers.


To learn more about what Palisades State Park has to offer, visit the Palisades State Park listing on the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks website.

South Dakota’s Great Places weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, designed to highlight places in South Dakota that are unique to travelers and residents alike. Click on the special “South Dakota’s Great Places” link at to access the complete list of articles. 




·        Information for this press release was gathered from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks website.

·        Photo: Rock climbing at Palisades State Park, credit South Dakota Department of Tourism.

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Wanda Goodman
Media and Public Relations Manager
Phone: 605-773-3301