2018 Southern Black Hills Vacation Guide 2018 SHVG website - Page 13

13 Long before its official establishment in the late 1800s, the Hot Springs area had been known for gener- ations among Native Americans for its rejuvenating warm mineral spring waters. When Hot Springs began to be settled by westward pioneers, it rapidly developed into a destination known for its bathhouses, luxurious hotels and health sanitoriums. Today, that same culture of health and wellness is carried on by the residents of Hot Springs. Here you can “Soak in” a wid e variety of experiences in this picturesque community nestled along Fall River, which winds its way through downtown past the distinctive (and locally quarried) pink sandstone buildings. Evans Plunge Mineral Springs, named for its founder, early Hot Springs businessman Fred Evans, is the Black Hills’ oldest commercial attraction, touting warm 87-de- gree water year-round. The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, a National Natural Landmark, is a world-class museum built around the final resting place of over 61 mammoths and other prehistoric creatures. North of Hot Springs is Wind Cave National Park, home of the world’s sixth-longest cave and plenty of wildlife. To the southwest, Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary is where hundreds of wild and free mustangs roam across a Western landscape full of both Native American and pioneer culture. Also to the south, Angostura and Sheps Canyon State Recreation Areas boast fantastic fishing, swimming, boating, camping and trail riding op- portunities. Outdoors lovers will also find adventure at Cold Brook and Cottonwood Lakes and at the city’s stunning parks, which include tennis courts, basketball, baseball fields, a skate park, playgrounds and, of course, access to Fall River’s warm spring-fed waters along walking trails like the Fall River Freedom Trail. You can also tee off at the beautiful 18-hole Southern Hills Golf Course, consistently ranked one of the best places to play in South Dakota. For those more interested in the fascinating history of the Hot Springs area, the Pioneer Museum, located in the original sandstone schoolhouse on the hill, offers four floors dedicated to preserving the artifacts of Hot Springs’ early settlers and founders. Downtown, grab a trails map from the visitor center at the old train depot or visit soakinhotsprings.com on your mobile device to un- cover the rich history and architecture of each building in the Hot Springs Historic District. Hot Springs is also home to the Battle Mountain San- itarium, now a VA hospital, a National Historic Land- mark that for over 100 years has served our nation’s veterans, and the South Dakota State Veterans Home. In 2014, the State of South Dakota officially designated Hot Springs “The Veterans Town” of South Dakota and one walk around either campus reveals just why veter- ans choose to live and retire in Hot Springs. See a wooden jail that once played host to Calamity Jane, play a round of mini-golf at Putt-4-Fun, drink warm spring water from Kidney Springs, peruse book- stores, artisan markets and galleries, take in a concert or play at the Mueller Civic Center, grab a bite of some of the Black Hills’ most popular dishes at local restaurants – We invite you to SOAK IN HOT SPRINGS!