Woodland Park & City Municipal Park
We got off Interstate 90 at Exit 32 in search of a city park in Sturgis, South Dakota. We drove along Junction Avenue to the north side of town. There, two city parks merge together along a paved bike path.
We pulled into Woodland Drive and found the western end of Woodland Park. There was a small parking area near the bike path.
Sturgis is home to an extensive paved bike path that stretches from east to west for over 4 miles. Several parks and points of interest are located along it, including Woodland Park which blends into City Municipal Park.
The girls started their adventure by sniffing the many trees of Woodland Park. We followed the general direction of the bike path past a small playground.
The dogs happily enjoyed the delicious new smells that this place had to offer. Evidence of deer activity was littered all around. The park was lined on one side by thin forest and by Bear Butte Creek on the other side.
We continued our wondering walk through the parks, little noses leading the way. We came to a much larger playground than the one we had parked near. Here, children were cheerfully enjoying their day. Maggie was having a jovial time as well, gleefully rolling in the snow. She reveled in the untouched patches of clean snow we found throughout the park grounds.
We walked along the paved bike path past soccer and football fields. The girls were having a fabulous time following the walkway and all the scents it carried. We soon came upon the Freedom Memorial -a tribute to all 5 branches of the military. The flags of the memorial flapped stoically in the breeze as we paused to pay our respects.
Just past the memorial, the path took us to a tall waterfall tumbling down the hillside. We couldn't get too close to it, and trees obstructed most of the views.
Bear Butte Creek flowed along before us, green with plant life. We stayed away from the water and followed the bike path a bit farther. We crossed a bridge over the creek. Bear Butte became visible off in the distance. The path continued to lead us away from town.
We stopped when we reached the western end of the Fort Meade Campus and the northern side of the Fort Meade Recreation Area. A large sign informed us that fireworks and firearms were prohibited, but archery hunting was allowed. The girls sniffed around the gate, but we decided this was a good place to turn around and head back to the city parks.
Fort Meade Recreation Area continued across the street. The southern side was filled with trails (including part of the Centennial Trail) and might be a lot of fun on a warmer day. For now we would simply head back toward the parks along the paved walking path.
We returned to the city and to City Municipal Park. The girls sniffed their way towards the sidewalk. We walked past the sign notifying us that Sturgis had a population of 6,627.
We approached the large statue of Colonel Samuel D Sturgis, one of the town's founders. We checked out the small informational sign about him before continuing on our walk.
We made our way back into the park and slowly began to meander in the direction of the car. We passed the large playground again. We wandered back into Woodland Park and past the smaller playground. Eventually, we ambled over to the car after all the scents had been sniffed and all the snow thoroughly rolled in.
This had been a good place to stop and take a walk. There was a lot of space, and we could have strolled even farther if we'd wanted to. The area seemed to be filled with enticing smells. The dogs had a nice time letting their noses lead them on a tour of the city parks in northern Sturgis.