Exploring the Parks and Nature Areas Around Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls has 76 named parks throughout the city that range from small sites suitable for neighborhood gatherings and playgrounds to large well developed nature centers such as Great Bear Recreational Park, Arrowhead Park, the Wegner Arboretum and East Sioux Falls Historical Site, and the linked park system along the Big Sioux River. The state provides outdoor recreation areas and state parks including the Big Sioux Recreation Area, Beaver Creek Nature Area, Lake Alvin Recreation Area, Newton Hills State Park, and the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls that is a joint city/state operation.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Beaver Creek Nature Center - Early Winter

We decided to check out Beaver Creek Nature Area this past Saturday; it is unusual at this time of the year to still be able to hike these trails. Normally, snow has covered the landscape and effectively closed down the hiking trails for the season. Since the temperature was up into the low 40s, we encountered a few other people eager to take advantage of these relatively tropical conditions.
Over the past ten days, there was a light dusting of snow, perhaps an inch or two, but most of it had melted. What little snow there was tended to be dry and powdery and was most visible along the surface of the trails.
Beaver Creek is now ice covered, and that added a seasonal touch to the landscape.
I felt as though we were privileged to be able to roam about this nature area in December. It was as though we were witnessing a shutdown of park life just before a deep blanket of snow covers the area.
Moving along the trail, one can look deep into the woods through the leafless trees and see an aspect of the landscape that is hidden by vegetation from spring through fall. It really is a wonderful time for a stroll in the woods along the trails and up and down the hills.
Our walk on Saturday was for the usual hour or so, and we felt invigorated by the stroll. As nearly always, we were accompanied by our eight-pound miniature poodle; a remarkably agile 13-year old dog with great endurance; we feel good to be able to keep up with him!

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