Travel Midwest Magazine Travel Midwest Digital ReplicaSUM17 - Page 18

“ which makes the Badlands an Many fossils and skeletons have been found throughout the park, educational site as well as a natural wonder. “ B A D L A N D S N AT I O N A L PA R K There is perhaps nothing more breathtaking than the 240,000+ acres of nothing but vast, open skies, layered rock formations, buttes, and spires that are offered in the Bad- lands National Park. The amount of harsh weather and ero- sion that has haunted the land, hence the Lakota name “Badland,” has actually made it beautiful. The deep gorges and tall rock formations are now layered with different colors from the erosion, and seem to be dipped in lavender, gray, yellow, orange, and a white color known as “volcanic ash.” Many fossils and skeletons have been found throughout the park, along with Native American tools and history, which makes the Badlands an educational site as well as a natural wonder. Hike to the tops of the mountains for a 360-degree view of the park, or stay in for a night sky viewing, complete 16 | Summer 2017 | Travel Midwest with millions of twinkling stars and swirling sunset colors. Take a bike ride through one of the many trails around, or gas up the car and take a scenic drive along the two-lane road of the Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway. While you’re out and about, you may see some of the impressive native wildlife, like bison, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, and black- footed ferrets! No matter where your journey takes you, you will be able to experience the beauty of the Midwest. Stay in a log cabin for the weekend, or take a drive to several of the parks within the region and make a road trip out of it. Whatever your budget and time limit is, whatever activities you’re looking to try out, you’ll find your heart’s desire in the Heartland.