Hot Springs provides many opportunities for travelers to enjoy the warm mineral waters. The most popular is Evans Plunge, the world’s largest natural warm-water pool and South Dakota’s oldest tourist attraction. Fred Evans started it in 1890 as a cornerstone of his vision for a resort city. Not far from the Plunge is Moccasin Springs, a comfy spa with outdoor pools and baths fashioned around the stately ruins of an 1880s bathhouse. For a wilder experience, drive south on Highway 71 about 10 miles. After passing a historic, sandstone structure (the only remnant of the town of Cascade), you’ll see a small park and nature area on the west side of the road — a good place to picnic. Two miles farther south is Cascade Falls, an unusual swimming hole. Once a local hideaway, the tiny falls have now grown so popular that the Forest Service built a trail and parking area. However, it’s still wild. Beware of rattlesnakes, poison ivy and noisy, laughing children.
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