SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It will be warmer this week than last week so if the kids are home from school, adults have some time off from work or relatives are in town, it’s a chance to get outside.

The Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Department has many options for outdoor activities.

Great Bear Ski Valley in Sioux Falls opened today (Dec. 26) at 9 a.m. Downhill skiing, tubing and the terrain park opened. The cross-country trails have been groomed. The park is also a good place for a hike.

In general, the hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. but the tubing area may close at 8:30 p.m. Check the website for admission and hours.

Sioux Falls has several Nordic ski trails.

There are two trails at the Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum and East Sioux Falls Historic Site at 1900 S. Perry Place.

There is a trail at Sertoma Park at West 49th Street and Oxbow Avenue.

Spencer Park at Spencer Park, southwest of I-229 and South Cliff Avenue has two trails.

If the interest is ice skating, Sioux Falls has six outdoor rinks. The locations are Campus Park, 1700 S. Summit Ave., Frank Olson Park, 4001 E. 16th, McKennan Park, 400 E. 26th St, Memorial Park, 7500 W. 26th St, Sherman Park, 2705 W. 12th St., and Tuthill Park, 3500 S. Cliff Ave.

During the winter break, rinks are open from 1 to 8 p.m. Dec. 26-31. Rinks are closed on Jan. 1 but open again on Jan. 2. The city also rents skates and prices are scaled by age.

The Game Fish and Parks and the city of Sioux Falls have a snowshoe trail at the Outdoor Campus. The campus is at 4500 S. Oxbow Ave. and part of Sertoma Park.

Searching for sledding in Sioux Falls? The city’s website doesn’t have an official sledding guide but an internet search shows these sledding sites:

Tuthill Park has a sledding hill. It’s in the upper part of the park at 3500 S. Cliff Ave.

Spellerberg Park at 2201-2299 W 22nd St., near the Midco Aquatics Center, also has a sledding hill.

Lions Park has a sledding hill at 2701 E. Marson Drive.

Leaders Park at 500 N. Leadale Ave. At least one review says this hill has bumps and thrills.

Outside of Sioux Falls

Outdoor activity is not limited to Sioux Falls.

The state’s extensive state park system has lots of outdoor opportunities. There are ski trails, hiking trails and more. The Game Fish and Parks Department has a list of state parks with cross-country ski trails.

Skiers in Sioux Falls. City of Sioux Falls photo.

For example, in eastern South Dakota, the public can cross-country ski at Beaver Creek Nature Area at 48351 264th St. near Valley Springs, SD 57068

Go ice fishing at Oakwood Lakes State Park near Bruce.

Snowshoe check is available at Newton Hills State Park at 28767 482nd Avenue
Canton, S.D. 57013.

The GFP also has a list of parks with snowshoeing. Within the link, there is an available list of parks that offer snowshoes.

Trails and parks are open throughout the winter. The GFP’s state park list is in this link.

If you may be headed out to visit more relatives this week, Travel South Dakota has a listing of outdoor activities in the state.

There’s a ski hill in Wessington Springs. The city says on its website that this is a historic park. The city also has an ice skating rink.

The hill at Winter Park in Wessington Springs. Photo from the
City of Wessington Springs website.

Many cities in the state have a trail, ice rink or some sort of winter venue. Check out a city or town to find that winter activity. The Dakota Nature Center Park in Brookings is just one example.

If ice fishing is the family sport, the state’s GFP has a listing of all public access water. The GFP also has recommendations on the level of ice thickness needed for fishing.

Snowmobilers can find public trails in the state park system. The state information includes available snowmobile routes and interactive maps as well as other details.

Walker’s Point Recreation Area is one state area available to snowmobiles.

South Dakota is also home to a national park and national public areas. Those may also be open to cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and other winter activities.

Travel South Dakota has a list of the snowmobile trail system in the state.