Are your prairie dogs itchin' for a fresh adventure? The Spirit Mound Summit Trail in South Dakota may be just what they are seeking! The path is set in the flat plains near Vermillion and leads to an unassuming knoll that is anything but ordinary. In 1804, this Spirit Mound drew the attention of Lewis and Clark when they heard rumors that strange humanoids with big heads and tiny bodies inhabited the land. Upon arrival, Lewis journaled that they discovered the "most beautiful landscape" with "numerous herds of buffalo," but they never found any strange beings. This spot is one of the last remaining places from Lewis and Clark's expedition that you can visit -- much of the route they took is now underwater due to the construction of several dams.
Once your pack sees Spirit Mound, they won't question why Lewis found this place so furrific! During the summer, colorful wildflowers carpet the sprawling prairie, and kaleidoscopes of Fritillary butterflies and birds flock to the mound. This out-and-back trail is ruffly three-quarters of a mile and consists of natural surfaces. This short and sweet trail is pawfect for two-and-four-legged explorers who crave some fresh air but not a grueling trek.
The trail has a short wheelchair-accessible section near the knob, but the paw path as a whole is not wheelchair-friendly. Visitor parking, picnic tables, water access, and restrooms are found at the trailhead. You will want to fill up your bottles before departing for this adventure -- the lack of trees makes this trail very hot during the summer! Bring a collapsible bowl for Fido, too. Fur coats make you quite toasty! The walk won't take long to complete, so pack some sandwiches and enjoy the scenery with your furry lunch date. Fido will have a blast spending time with you and experiencing all the sights and smells this picturesque prairie has to offer!