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Sprawling over an area of 1,069 acres, on the coast of Big Sioux River right along the South Dakota state line, is an urban wildlife sanctuary called Stone State Park. Located on the outskirts of Sioux City, the park is home to coyotes, red foxes, and white-tailed deer, as well as a variety of bird and rare butterfly species.
The park’s woodlands are thriving with oak trees, wildflowers, and prairie plants like yucca, rough blazing star, penstemon, and silky aster, which start to bloom in early May. The area was most likely used by Native Americans as hunting grounds until 1885 when Daniel Hector Talbot started to purchase portions of land. He was known for nurturing animals like bison, elks, monkeys, and wolves, and played a profound role in the history of Sioux City.
Today, the park is a place where people come to camp in an RV, fish, hike, observe the diverse wildlife, and spend time in the nature center. Stone State Park welcomes visitors from Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota throughout the whole year. This is no surprise as the park is an interesting and scenic place, just minutes away from South Sioux City and North Sioux City. Once you decide to embark on your motorhome camping adventure, book an RV in Woodbury County, or any nearby town, and reserve a spot at Stone State Park's campground.
Start your camping adventure with a little exploration and hop onto Carolyn Benne Nature Trail. This is a self-guided pathway with a few interpretive signs detailing interesting historical facts about the state park along the way. The park has multiple trails for both bikers and mountain bikers, as well as horseback riding. Bear in mind, though, that there's no accommodation for equestrian riders at the state park campground.
Birdwatching at Stone State Park is one of the favorite activities for guests. Different bird species come here to roost, such as rufous-sided towhees, barred owls, turkey vultures, ovenbirds, great blue herons, and migrating waterfowl. The number of bird species fluctuates during the migration period, but there’s always more than enough to keep birdwatchers busy throughout their stay.
Sioux River and Turtle Lake are popular attractions among anglers, especially during winter when ice fishing becomes an option. The park's nature center is also worth exploring. Check out the aquarium and learn about the park’s history and ecosystem from the displays. The kids will even be able to handle different artifacts and furs at the discovery center.
Stone State Park's campground caters to both RV campers and thrillseekers with camping cabins, electric-hookup sites, and primitive sites. When it comes to motorhome camping conditions, the park has ten sites with either 30 or 50-amp hookups that can accommodate vehicles between 30 and 40 feet in length. An additional six sites are primitive. The remaining sites are tent-only.
You can also look forward to other camping amenities like drinking water, restrooms, showers, a picnic area, and dumpsters. The sites are pet-friendly; just make sure your dog is on a leash. You can make reservations in advance and online, and you're encouraged to do so, as there's a limited number of RV camping spots available.
As you're practically in Sioux City, you can use the opportunity to visit some of the town’s main cultural attractions. Sioux City has an amazing public museum and a gallery, as well as a railroad museum that's close to the park.
Get transported back to the time of steam locomotives, which were once an integral part of transportation and economy. The Sioux City Railroad Museum is an amazing place for history buffs, as you'll get to climb aboard and explore old cabooses, locomotives, and railcars. You'll also learn the ins and outs of the roundhouse and repair shop.
Make sure you stop by the Sioux City Art Center, which boasts a collection of over 1,000 crafts and artworks. This is an amazing place for local artists to showcase their work and for eager amateurs who wish to take art classes and participate in workshops. Who knows? You might even get inspired and sign up for the art camp.
Finally, make sure you visit the public museum in Sioux City as it has a program that caters to visitors of all ages. You can book a tour and learn all about the history of this area, see Native American and Bedouin artwork, and many more exhibits that change throughout the year. Here, you'll also find a great shop for souvenirs or artistic items you can use to decorate your home.
After such an eventful day, treat yourself with a delicious meal, as you'll find multiple restaurants in Sioux City. Mexican food, burger joints, bakeries, pizzerias, and regular American restaurants are scattered all around town. You can easily find grocery stores and gas stations as well, so it will be little to no trouble to get supplies and gas for your RV rental.