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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Custer State Park Facts

The spectacular majesty of Black Hills are calling...In Murder in Custer State Park, costumer and part-time sleuth Merritt Andrews, delves into the beauty and mystery of the ancient landscape of South Dakota's Custer Country.  Over the next few months, The Inkspot will be posting travel tips and history features about the Black Hills. 

Download a copy of 'Murder in Custer State Park,' to jumpstart your South Dakota adventure, as you follow Merritt on a trail of scenery, suspense, murder and playhouse mayhem...

Fast Facts about Custer State Park:

- At 71,000 acres, spread across mountains, forests and prairies, Custer State Park is the second largest state park in North America. 

- Custer's Wildlife Loop is an eighteen mile stretch of meandering highway, traversing granite spire ridges before shifting into the drama of the vast golden prairie.  Here you'll encounter 'Begging Burros,' Bison, Pronghorns, deer, big horn sheep, turkeys and the adorable and vital prairie dog.

- Tatanka is the Lakota word for Bison.  Custer State Park's bison population descends from the pure Yellowstone bison herd, and is one of the first successful reintroductions of an endangered species into a wilderness area after over hunting decimated the bison on the plains. 

-There are 1300+ Bison in Custer State Park.  Bison weigh 2000 pounds and can run 30+ miles per hour.  Favorite hangouts are on the Wildlife Loop and Game Lodge area.

- The Buffalo Roundup - wranglers round up the bison the last weekend of September.  The roundup attracts visitors from around the world, and is accompanied by an Arts Festival in the neighboring town of Custer City.

- There are 8 campgrounds in Custer: Center Lake, Legion Lake, Game Lodge, Blue Bell, Stockade Lake, Grace Coolidge Creek, French Creek, Sylvan Lake

- There are 5 resorts in the park, each with distinct character. (Game Lodge, Blue Bell, Legion Lake Cabins, Sylvan Lake, Creekside...we'll profile each hotel/resort in the coming weeks)

- Game Lodge served as the Summer White House for President Cal Coolidge - his stay in Custer cemented the efforts to fund Mount Rushmore as a national memorial, as well as protect many of the sacred lands in the Black Hills...

- Gold was first discovered in the Black Hills near Stockade Lake in Custer State Park.

- South Dakota Poet Laureate Badger Clark lived and worked in Custer State Park.  His poem, A Cowboy's Prayer a beautiful reverence for God's beauty in the Black Hills.

- To the Lakota, the Black Hills are a sacred land...

Keep posted for more CSP and Playhouse Facts...don't forget to pick up a copy of Murder in Custer State Park

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