Busy Memorial Day weekend at Newton Hills State Park

Local News

NEAR CANTON, S.D. (KELO) – It may be too chilly to head out onto the water, but that didn’t keep people away from these campgrounds on Memorial Day weekend.

“It’s tradition, a yearly tradition,” camper Priscilla Stevenson said. “We camp every Memorial Day, it’s usually our first time out but this year we were fortunate enough to go on Mother’s Day too.”

“I wanted to come camping because it’s really nice and I thought it would be fun going camping with my family this week,” camper Jorge Portillo said.

“We just camp a lot during the summer and this is actually our first trip out this year so we just enjoy spending time with family and friends,” camper Melissa Lund said. “We get together with this whole group very, very often, probably five to ten times a summer.”

For many people, Memorial Day weekend is the first time they come out camping for the year. But the park manager here at Newton Hills says they’ve already seen a busy start to the season and expect it to stay busy throughout the summer.

“Here at Newton Hills, we’ve been full on weekends for the last month already,” district park supervisor Jason Baumann said. “So, it’s been very, very busy. We see that trend continuing. Last year, a lot of campers bought new campers. We introduced a lot of people into the state parks and camping, so we do see this trend continuing.”

And even if the weather is a little gloomy, there’s still plenty of fun to be had.

“It’s a typical Memorial weekend, it’s kind of cloudy and rainy and cool, but that’s alright, you know, the campers still have fun,” Baumann said. “Cool weather like this, it’s great to go hiking, you can do some fishing and then a lot of the parks do have programs over the weekend.”

“We play cards and board games with the kids,” Priscilla Stevenson said.

“Have campfires, hangout,” camper Courtney Stevenson said.

“Smore’s,” young camper Tenley Stevenson said.

“Just being out in the nature, really beautiful,” Jorge Portillo said. “Hanging out with family, smelling the campfire.”

“Honestly, my favorite part is waking up, early, and having a cup of coffee outside in complete silence,” Melissa Lund said.

Baumann says most of the Newton Hills State Park is already booked for the Fourth.

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