Sica Hollow State Park is one of the spookiest state parks in all of America and is a must visit for those fascinated by the unknown. The park (located in South Dakota) is named Sica after the Dakota word for bad or evil. It got this name due to the iron-red tinted water that the Dakota Tribe viewed as being blood. The park is famous for having a disturbing historical reputation due to the legend of Sica Hollow. The tale revolves around a stranger named Hand disturbing the peaceful Indian camps around the area. He scared the females of the tribe and he didn't leave the area when he was told. The legend then continues to where the Great Spirit sent a messenger who summoned vines to attach to his ankles, water filled his mouth and the talons of Thunderer ripped out his eyes.
Along with the legend of Sica Hollow there have been other instances over the years that have contributed to the tales of the park. Some believe that a “Big Foot” type man inhabited the dense woods after several people disappeared at Sica Hollow in the 1970s. There is also apparently a form of quicksand that exists near the park that was formed due to the numerous springs in the area.
Despite the historical reputation of the park, Sica Hollow State Park is an appealing destination in the modern day. It has earned a nationwide reputation for The Old River Warren and Coteau des Prairies which are designated National Natural Landmarks. Another popular activity is The Trail of the Spirits, a self-guided interpretive foot trail that was designated as a National Recreation Trail in 1971. Other popular activities include horseback riding, hiking and birdwatching.
Camping at Sica Hollow State Park has eight RV-friendly camping sites available for you to use all year round. Peak season at Sica Hollow State Park is during the summer months.
Sica Hollow State Park is located within the The Lake Traverse Indian Reservation in far north-eastern South Dakota, around 15 miles outside of Sisseton off SD Highway 10. The park is located in a remote area of South Dakota and there are some people who believe that a big foot lives within the deep ravines that are found in the park. Along with Sisseston there are a few other towns close to the park, including Lake City (around 13 miles from the park), Vebelen (around 13 miles from the park) and Claire City (around 14 miles from the park). The closest city to Sica Hollow State Park is Aberdeen that is around 80 miles to the west.
Although the park is in a remote location you should have no difficulties accessing the park. The roads in and around the park are well maintained and they will be large enough to accommodate your RV. Wintertime is the only time that you might have trouble accessing the park due to the winter weather. Make sure that you call through to the park office before you begin your journey to make sure that you will be able to get into the park.
There is plenty of parking available for you at Sica Hollow State Park.
Unfortunately there are no public transport options available for visitors to Sica Hollow State Park.
If you want to stay the night at Sica Hollow State Park you can do so by taking up resident in one of the eight available RV-friendly campsites. Due to the remote location of the park the campground at Sica Hollow State Park is primitive with no electrical or water hookups available for you to use. Despite this that doesn't mean there are no amenities. Visitors at the park can find vault toilets, picnic tables and water collection points. The campground is also pet friendly and you should be able to get a small amount of cell service if you are with one of the major providers.
The campground at Sica Hollow State Park is open all year round, however during the wintertime it is likely that there will be too much snow on the campground road so you will not be able to make it to the campground. If you are planning on visiting during the winter, make sure to call the park office to confirm whether the park will be open or not. Reservations are available up to three months in advance.
The Trail of Spirits is known to be one of the spookiest interpretive trails in America. The trail is a very popular summer activity and some visitors have reported that there's no wildlife to be seen. This creates an eerie silence that makes the trail feel very spooky. Another common sound heard on the trail is the sound of drums playing in the distance or Native American Indian chanting. If you head down to the brook you can even see the famous red, blood-like water.
During the summertime in Sica Hollow State Park there are many different free events that are held within the park. The moon hike is one of the more popular events that we recommend attending if you are staying in the park during August. On the moon hike you will take a guided tour through Sica Hollow during the night time. The park staff who is guiding the tour will inform you about animals and the stars. You will also hear about the history of Sica Hollow and how it got its name. If you want to do the moon hike check the park website to see what day it is held and remember to wear sturdy shoes.
Getting together with your friends or family and having a picnic is one of the best ways to enjoy the great summer weather at Sica Hollow State Park. Despite the park being mostly woodlands and not having many cleared areas you can find a great little picnic spot in the day use area to the right of the loop road. This picnic area is non-reservable, so make sure that you get there with plenty of time if the park is busy during the summer.
If you like to ride horses than Sica Hollow State Park will be a place that you love! There are over eight miles of guided trails available for those riding horses to use throughout the year that are renowned as being fantastic trails. Along with the trails, you also have the option to camp with your horse within the park as there are eight horse-friendly camping sites available. These sites are primitive but you will find vault toilets and and a central water pump available for you to use.
While the local legend is that there are not many birds to be seen at Sica Hollow State Park you still have the option to get the binoculars out and have a look for yourself. The park is located near the Great Lakes Birding trail and some visitors believe that depending on what side of the water you are on that you will either see no birds or a normal amount. Some of the common species found in Sica Hollow State Park include warblers, hummingbirds, owls and woodpeckers.
Once the weather takes a turn in winter and the snow starts to fall some of the trails in Sica Hollow State Park are perfect for cross country skiing. Skiing is one of the more popular winter recreational activities at the park and you are able to ski on the trails in the park that are not the horse trails. There are no ski rentals available at Sica Hollow State Park so make sure that you bring in your own skis if you want to get out there and experience what the park has to offer in winter.