Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Recreational Activities

When asked about the quality and availability of health care services in Rapid City, most residents put the community on par with other similar cities in the United States. When it is time to get outside, however, they are far more enthusiastic about their recreational opportunities. In a recent survey conducted for the city, residents rated city parks, recreation centers and facilities far ahead of their peers in other communities. They also said they get out to these facilities more frequently. 

Recreation Activities for people of all ages to enjoy in Rapid City, include Indoor, Outdoor, and Local Community Organizations and Associations.

Summer Programs

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Youth Programs

High School Engineering and Science Career Summer Camps offered by SDSM&T provide teens with an opportunity "to ‘dig’ into geology and paleontology, ‘formulate’ a future in chemical engineering, ‘forge’ a career in metallurgy or forensics, build electronics and robots, or ‘explode’ your preconception of what a mining engineer does for a living." Scholarships are available.

YMCA of Rapid City

The 2016 Spring and Summer Program Guide provides programs, classes, swim lessons, sport camps, summer camps, and much more. Something for everyone as the guide provides something for youth, teens, and adults.

Indoor Recreation Centers

South Dakota Career Camps

Hosted by State universities and technical institutes with help from the private sector, camps are geared toward middle school and high school students. The camps are typically daylong events where students learn about specific careers by hearing from professionals and participating in hands-on activities. 

The Outdoor Campus- West

This facility offers programs for education via various indoor exhibits, a 4,600 gallon aquarium, and 32 acres of trails that can be accessed all year long.“The Outdoor Campus' mission is to provide education about outdoor skills, wildlife, conservation and management practices of South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks to all ages in order to preserve our outdoor heritage.” The East Campus is located in Sioux Falls.

Rapid City Parks and Recreation

Seasonal Program Guide

(Indoor and outdoor listings).

Roosevelt Swim Center

125 Waterloo St., 394-5223.

  •  Two racquetball courts indoors
  •   Swim laps in the 8-lane lap pool
  •   Diving boards and water basketball area.
  •   A zero-depth pool for toddlers with a    floating frog
  •   A leisure pool with two slides, a current  channel, and a vortex pool
Swim Center2 

Roosevelt Park Ice Arena

225 Waterloo St., 394-6161.

Open all year: Offers classes to learn ice skating or ice hockey, summer skate camps, and ice shows/competitions.

 ice skate

South Community Center 

2 Indiana St., 394-4168

West Community Center 

1003 Soo San Dr., 394-4168

South Community Center and West Community Center are operated in conjunction with the Rapid City Area Schools. The public may use the gym for a small fee after 6 pm.


South Com Center
West Com Center


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Outdoor Recreation Activities and Centers

Art Alley

Art Alley is an alley in downtown Rapid City between Main Street and Saint Joseph from 6th to 7th Street. This is a free activity and is available all year long.

art alley

Biking Trails and Paths in Rapid City

With 13.5 miles of trails, there is much to see while riding a bike in Rapid City.

Black Hills Mountain Bike Association
Making biking available to all ages and abilities is one of the goals the BHMBA follow. This site provides information about various biking events, trail information, a forum, and more.

Bike Path Map

This is a map of Rapid City's bike path. Included is a legend showing parks, sports complexes and other city supported recreational facilities in Rapid City. The map also shows distances on the path going east and west from Memorial Park.

Bike Path Rules

The Department of Parks and Recreation created bike path rules for the Leonard "Swanny" Swanson Memorial Pathway. These rules can be used on all bike paths in Rapid City, for the safety of all.

Bike Rentals - B-cycle bike sharing system will begin July 2, 2014.  You can also contact Cranky's Bike Shop for bike rentals. 

Bike Skills Park - map of location of the a youth oriented public Bike Skills Park; construct trails, jumps, and obstacles within the park boundaries.

Strider Nature Trail - located on Omaha street across from Mountain View Road.  The trail is a quarter-mile long, and presents challenges to kids riding bikes without pedals i.e. riding over tree stumps, under branches, near a waterway, and through thick vegetation.

Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park Trail Network (Rapid City Trail)

Formerly known as Cowboy Hill or M Hill, Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park contains over 18 miles of interconnecting trails.
       Trail Level: Trails for all skill levels.
       Total Length: 9.62 Miles.

Leonard Swanson Memorial Pathway (Rapid City Trail)

This paved bike path follows along Rapid Creek.
       Trail Level: Easy.
       Total Length: 12           Miles.

founders park 

Skyline Drive (Rapid City Trail)

A mile from downtown, this single track offers many spurs. This is marked as advanced since it does some with some technical areas and working downhill.
Trail Level:      Advanced.
Total Length: 3-6 Miles













There are several locations around Rapid City that can be used for camping. Please refer to this page to find locations and the option to make reservations.

City of Presidents

Rapid City is the most patriotic city in America, and its Downtown is lined with historic faces. A series of life-size bronze statues of our nation's past presidents greet guests to Downtown Rapid City. These lifesize bronze statues are a tribute to America's heritage and give those who are shopping, dining or walking a historic reminder of the legacy our Nation's presidents have created. You can enjoy and view the Presidents for free.

Dinosaur Park

Free family fun at one of the Black Hills’ original tourist attractions, open to the public since 1936.  Dinosaur Park is located at 940 Skyline Drive and is home to historic life-sized concrete dinosaur figure.  The Park also includes a restroom and gift shop which is open from May 31st thru September 6th.

Disc Golf

Black Hills Disc Golf Confederacy- The BHDGC provides an informative site with rules, maps, news, includes leagues in the Black Hills and much more.
           Disc Golf Courses
                      Omaha Park (9 Holes), West Omaha/Cross St.
                      Jackson Park Course (18 Holes), 3040 Jackson Blvd.

Fish Hatchery

The Cleghorn Springs State Fish Hatchery is open to visitors for free from 7:00am - 3:30pm Monday - Friday. Visitors may walk around the grounds and feed fish in the outside raceways. Please check the website to see if the hatchery is open. 4725 Jackson Blvd., (605) 394-4100.


Rapid City offers several places to fish: whether you choose to fish from a pond, at Canyon Lake, or on Rapid Creek. Plus, fishing is allowed all year long.
Fishing and Boating- The South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks page to find information on getting a fishing license, fishing regulations, and more information about fishing.
Black Hills Fishing Guide
Public Fishing Waters (by County).


Rapid City Flower Gardens- Rapid City boasts some of the most beautiful flower gardens in South Dakota. Although all gardens are free and deserve an up-close view, some of the gardens can be enjoyed from your vehicle.


Geocaching is a treasure hunting game played with GPS devices. What is nice about this activity is that it sends the treasure hunter on the search for a location and leads them within five feet of the location. Once at the location (and the treasure is found) the person or people will take an item and leave an item. This is fun while traveling through Rapid City or if you live here and is fun for all ages.
Black Hills Area Geocaching- Focusing on geocaching in the Black Hills and surrounding area. As well, there will be a collection of tips available for everyone, including some tutorials on how to do some basic (and some advanced) things with readily available geocaching software programs. There should be something here for people of all levels.
Black Hills National Forest- GPS Compatible Travel Map. Website devoted to explaining, providing a general guide, and tips.

Gold Panning/Prospecting

Recreational gold panning is allowed in some locations.

The Black Hills Prospecting Club- Family friendly outings once a month with newsletters, do-it-yourself projects, and more.



Please click on the following links or call for further information.

           Executive Golf Course – 200 Founders Park Drive, (605) 394-4124
           Fountain Springs - 1750 Fountain Plaza Dr., (605) 342-4653.
           The Golf Club at Red Rock - 6520 Birkdale, (605) 718-4710.
           Hart Ranch Golf Course - 23654 Clubhouse Dr., (605) 341-5703.
           La Croix Links Golf Course - 3820 Odde Dr., (605) 394-5325.
           Meadowbrook Golf Course - 3625 Jackson Blvd., (605) 394-4191.
           Rapid City Elks - 3333 E 39th St., (605) 393-0522.


hikers sm

Please click on the following links for further information.
Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park Trail Network - Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park, formerly M Hill or Cowboy Hill, is the closest thing to being in the Hills, while still being in Rapid City. With over 18 miles of developed trails, the Park has many trails that fork off of just one.
                       Trail Type: Many Options.
                       Trail Length: 9.62 Miles.
                       Trail level: Easy to Moderate.
Hiking Black Hills Hiking - Maps and trail descriptions for locations in the Black Hills.
Paha Sapa Trails - Hansen-Larsen Memorial Park trail map for a hike located inside Rapid City.
Skyline Drive - A nice hiking trail less than a mile from downtown. There are many spurs to this trail as it winds through a fairly small overall area.
                       Trail development continues.
                       Trail Length: 3-6 Miles.
                       Trail Level: Moderate to Strenuous.

Horseback Riding

Please click on the following links or call for further information.
           Circle B Ranch - 12138 Ray Smith, Hill City, SD 57745; (605) 574-2129 or toll free (800) 403-7358.
           Horseback Riding - Information provided by Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau.
           Horseback Vacations in the Black Hills - Information provided by Black Hills Badlands & Lake Association.
           SunCatcher Therapeutic Riding Academy, Inc. - A non-profit organization that provide an equine therapy program for children, teens, and adults with disabilities and/or special needs, and disadvantaged children. 

Main Street Square

main street square

A downtown Rapid City, attraction featuring water fountains in summer and an outdoor ice-skating rink in winter, opened in October 2011. For general information, and for events and seasonal schedules, click on the Main Street Square link above.

Park Amenities

This chart shows location addresses and what kinds of opportunities are available at each of the Rapid City Parks.

     Playground Safety - National Playground Safety Week is a time to focus on children's outdoor play environments. A time to pledge to use good judgment when playing. A time for gratitude for all the adults who work tirelessly on maintaining our playgrounds.

Parks Division

Facilities list plus information for events and general information.

Pools, Outdoor

Open to the public for a fee or available to rent: for birthdays, office parties, or family reunions.
           Horace Mann Pool - 818 Anamosa St., (605) 394-1891.
           Jimmy Hilton Municipal Pool - 940 Sheridan Lake Rd., (605) 394-1894.
           Parkview Pool - 4221 Parkview Dr., (605) 394-1892.

Recreational Facilities

Bandshell- Located in Memorial Park adjacent to the Civic Center, this stage is where Heritage Festival, Hills Alive and community band concerts take place every year during in the summer. The Bandshell is available for lease at $100 per day. Contact the Civic Center at 394-4115 for scheduling information and specific event requirements.

Sand Volleyball Courts- Rapid City has sand volleyball courts in two locations. There are four lighted courts in Founder's Park located along Omaha Street, and there are two courts along the bike path in Sioux Park. There are a variety of sand volleyball leagues that play during the summer and fall at the Founder's Park location, which are also available for public use. Call the Recreation Office at 394-4168 for information and scheduling.


Skateboard Parks- Containing approximately 5,000 square feet of skatable surface, the park including railings, stairs, a bowl area, and several ramps. There are also several stand-alone rail and wall elements available for skaters to use.
                       Rapid City Skate Park - 221 New York St.
                       Thomson Park - 880 E. Meadowlark Dr.
                       Stevens High School - 1200 44th St.

Rock Climbing

Black Hills Climbers Coalition- Offers climbing and other outdoor events, plus their websites includes information to local resources for rock climbing.

Guide Service- Sylvan Rocks Climbing School and Guide Service focuses on the Black Hills and provides area climbing information: (605)                 484-7585.

Indoor- Rapid City Athletic Club offers climbing walls. Located at 7800 Albertta Dr., (605) 343-0744. Shows 44 routes that can be climbed in Rapid City at three locations: Falling Rock, Packing Plant Boulders, and Rock Maze.

Rock Hounding/Collecting

With over 140 different minerals the Black Hills provide an excellent choice for rock collecting. Please read more about collecting and rules (as some locations are off limits).

Museum of Geology- 501 E. St. Joseph St., (605) 394-2467.
                        Located on the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology campus, the museum offers tours and events that are open to the public for free.

Fairburn agates, the South Dakota state gemstone, were originally named after a prolific locality 10 miles east of Fairburn, South Dakota, in the southern Black Hills area.

 Scenic Fall Color Tours
    John Lee McLaughlin highlights five fall drives through the Black Hills including: 
        Boulder Canyon - Spearfish Canyon
        Roughlock Falls - Highway 85 North - Vanocker Canyon

South Dakota Air and Space Museum

This museum is free to visit with the exception of tours.
2890 Rushmore Dr., Ellsworth AFB, SD 57706,(605)385-5189.

Sport Complexes

List of location with addresses (indoor and outdoor).

Storybook Island

From the fantastic castle at the entrance, to Snow White's house (surrounded by her darling seven dwarfs), the Dalmatians, a train to ride, swings, the Crooked Man's house, a Dragon, a maze, and the 100 Acre Woods - your child will be lost within a fantastic world of storybook creatures and playsets. Open during Memorial Weekend to Labor Day weekend, with additional special openings. Admission is free but donations are welcome.  Gift shop and birthday party house on premises.

Water Sports

Canyon Lake - 4181 Jackson Boulevard. Boat launch (non-motorized), canoeing, kayaking, paddle boating.
Rapid Creek- fly fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and tubing.

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Community Organizations/Associations

Adult Recreation Leagues- From the Rapid City Recreation League.
Black Hills Climbers Coalition- Offers climbing and other outdoor events, plus their websites includes information to local resources for rock climbing.
Black Hills Disc Golf Confederacy- The BHDGC provides an informative site with rules, maps, news, includes leagues in the Black Hills and much more.
Black Hills Lacrosse - a youth lacrosse organization dedicated to promoting and growing youth lacrosse for boys and girls
Black Hills Runners Club- Great resource for sponsered races, race results, trail maps, and much more.
Black Hills Volkssport Association- The mission of the AVA and IVV is to promote family fitness and fun through community participation in sanctioned Volkssporting events. Volkssporting includes outdoor sporting events such as walking, cross-country skiing, biking, skating and swimming.
Community Organizations- List from the Department of Parks and Recreation, organized alphabetically by the name of the sport (more groups listed under “Miscellaneous”).
Rapid City Girls Junior Olympic ASA Fastpitch Softball - promote and perpetuate girls Junior Olympic amateur softball
Rapid City Softball Association - Star of the West Complex has eight softball fields and is home to 150+ teams
Rapid City Youth Soccer League - recreational play to the more competitive Challenge division
Summer 2016 Kids & Youth Program Guide - a guide of upcoming events
YMCA’s Fitness Page- Includes sports groups for adults and children.

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525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]