Every Town Needs a Park Like Custer

The 2,000 citizens of Custer aren’t the bragging type. Still, one can’t help but wonder what goes through their minds when they travel to other parks because no other town – not even New York or Paris – has anything like Custer State Park, which begins just east of the city limits. You don’t need much guidance because any one of the 73,000 acres is paradise. Still, a few tips are in order. Hike the easy path around rocky Sylvan Lake (take a fishing pole if you’re inclined). Drive or hike to the top of Coolidge Mountain, then climb the stone lookout tower for an eagle-eyed, 360-degree view. Enjoy the history, art and architecture of Custer Game Lodge and Blue Bell. Get tickets for an evening show at the Black Hills Playhouse. Drive slowly through the 20-mile Wildlife Loop and take snacks for the not-so-wild burros. DO NOT FEED THE BISON.

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