Custer State Park, which is named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer, begirds 71,000 acres of wildlife preserve in the Black Hills, Custer County, South Dakota. The park is easily South Dakota’s largest park and is the state’s first state park as well. Access to the park is quite easy by road from Rapid City.
This State Park was formed after the original sixteen different sections were merged into one block of land due to difficulties in the terrain. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built several amenities that are still utilized by the park including three dams, campgrounds and miles of roads among other useful amenities.
Other amenities at the park include four private historic lodges with restaurants, guided wildlife activities, modernized cabins and hotel rooms, nine campgrounds, game lodge, restrooms, showers, and a visitor center
The park is popular for several reasons among which are the beautiful scenery in the land including wildlife and natural features. Some of the wildlife at the park includes over 1500 free-roaming bison, coyotes, several elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, mountain goats, river otters, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, cougars, feral burros, pronghorn, and other wildlife. Another reason for the popularity of the park is the fact that U.S. President Calvin Coolidge made this park his "summer White House" back in 1927.
Visitors today love the park because of the many other activities that they can enjoy including educational and historical interests, swimming, birdwatching, hiking, biking, camping, canoeing/kayaking, cross-country skiing, fishing, horseback riding, rock climbing, paddle boarding, snowshoeing.
Pets are allowed at the park which means that you can bring your dog for no additional fee. When you bring your dog, make sure that you adhere to the park rules. Your dog must always be attended to and must be kept at least 200 feet from other guests. The dog must also be on a leash no longer than 10 feet long and must always be under the owner's immediate control. Dogs should not be allowed into park buildings and designated swimming areas, but you may take your dog into camping and tent areas. Finally, you must always clean up after your dog.