CANTON, S.D. (KELO) — This weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, but the camping season is still going strong.
Newton Hills State Park is a popular destination.
“It’s a beautiful park. We have over 1,000 acres here, most of it’s wooded. We have a lot of terrain, a lot of deep valleys and some really nice hiking trails. It’s just really unique for eastern South Dakota to come out and experience Newton Hills,” District Park Supervisor Jason Baumann said.
Dave Farley is an avid camper. He’s trading the hustle and bustle of Sioux Falls for a peaceful Labor Day weekend at Newton Hills.
“Just nice to get away from the city a little bit, do a little hiking, walking around, just relaxing,” Sioux Falls resident Dave Farley said.
That may change when the rest of his family shows up.
“We’ve got like eight different spots out here this weekend, so it’s going to be a big family wing-ding. 40, 50 of us out here grilling, doing fires, doing all kinds of things. It’s just so much enjoyment to come out and see everybody,” Farley said.
Camping experienced a boom last summer due to COVID-19, but Baumann says numbers are still up this year across the state.
“Record numbers due to COVID, everybody wanted to get outside and go hiking and do some camping. This year, that trend continued. We are up over last year statewide four-percent and if I remember correctly it’s six-percent up in camping this year at Newton Hills,” Baumann said.
If your long holiday weekend isn’t quite long enough, Baumann says camping season stretches well into fall.
“Less bugs, cooler temps, you can actually enjoy the fire a little bit more and there’s still a lot of things going on. It’s the perfect time to go hiking,” Baumann said.
Newton Hills State Park is fully booked for Labor Day weekend, but cancellations do happen. Click HERE to make a camping reservation.