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State Parks Open After Early October Blizzard



PIERRE, S.D. – Though State Parks in western South Dakota were affected by the early fall blizzard last week, park officials say that all parks have re-opened with the exception of Shadehill Recreation Area near Lemmon.

Shadehill Recreation Area will likely be without power for another week.

“The electric company is focused on restoring power to residential areas first,” said Shadehill manager Jim Straight. “We hope to have electricity to the campground by next weekend.”

In addition to the power outage, Shadehill also lost around 30 percent of its trees. Nearby Llewellyn Johns campground is open with electricity.

French Creek Horse Camp, Game Lodge and Blue Bell Campgrounds are open at Custer State Park. Needles Highway remains closed; however, all other park roads are open. 

“With the exception of some tree branch cleanup, the park is back to normal for this time of the year,” said park superintendent Matt Snyder. “Custer State Park did not lose any buffalo or wildlife to the storm.”

There are downed trees and large snow drifts on the Mickelson Trail. The trail is open, but it could take several weeks to completely clear the trail.

Angostura Recreation Area near Hot Springs and Rocky Point Recreation Area near Belle Fourche received some tree damage, but both parks are fully functional.

Camping reservations can be made online at www.campsd.com or by calling 1.800.710.2267.