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Sunday, September 4, 2016

Custer State Park - Times We'll Remember

It wasn't our first visit to Custer State Park, but it was our first time to use one of their campgrounds.  We lucked out choosing site 32E at Stockade Lake North because we had no neighbor in residence most of the time on one side and nothing but a hill on the other side!

The cats loved it and begged to go out walking every day.  They checked out the tree stumps, the rocks, the tall grass and walked all the way down to the lake.

While the cats were napping we drove the Wildlife Loop and hung out with the local bison herd.

Also seen were deer and antelope.

As has become my habit I snuck out early in the morning for a solo hike on one of the park's trails.

The bison like the trails too, so be aware and keep your distance.  This guy was hanging out in front of one of the cabins and when I swung as far away from him as I could he still felt it was a little close and stood up to make sure I wasn't intending on getting any closer.  Once he saw I meant to move along he promptly turned his back on me and laid back down to enjoy the sunshine.

Not half a mile later I came upon a large pile of fresh bison poop.  This guy was so tough he ate and pooped out rocks the size of my fist?

He looked like the twin of the other guy, but after seeing that rock in his poop I figured I should just turn around and call it a day.

Adult male bison tend to wander around alone, but the ladies and the young'uns travel in herds.  They even enjoy a communal bath now and then.

Cory spotted some baby birds in a nest at Legion Lake Lodge.  How adorable!

There is a fee to enter the park, they used to have a day rate but now the lowest available rate is for 1-7 days and is $20.  Well worth it, but something to be aware of.  Another thing to be aware of is that there is only one dump station in the park and since it wasn't in the direction we wanted to go we opted to pay to dump at Beaver Lake Campground instead for an additional $8 on our way out of Custer.

Linda isn't the only blogger we met on this trip, Ray and Wendy from Anywhere, USA were camp hosts at Stockade Lake North while we were there.  This is their fourth year volunteering at the park and if you visit their blog you can find out what it's like to have such a sweet gig.

On Ray's recommendation Wayne and Cory tried their hand at fishing at Stockade Lake and at Bismarck Lake across the road.

They got enough at Bismarck Lake for a trout dinner!

While they fished I wandered the lake with my camera and caught sight of an Osprey and a Marmot.  The Marmot was really good at staying perfectly still in an attempt to hide but I got lucky!

Wayne and I love it in Custer, who knows maybe someday we'll be camp hosts here too!  In the meantime we'll just have to make do with the memories of our third trip to South Dakota.


  1. Great photos, especially the selfie!!!
    Box Canyon Mark

  2. I so enjoy watching the bison. They are just so cute:) Nice site for the cats to have a fun time, also:)

  3. You did have an amazing campsite! How fun you met another blogger too. Yes, Custer State Park is one of my most favorite places in the Hills.