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Tucked in the northeast corner of South Dakota, split between Roberts and Marshall counties, is one of the most scenic and mysterious parks in the entire United States: Sica Hollow State Park. The Sioux used the area as hunting grounds, but the place was never inhabited due to the inescapable sense of foreboding they had while tracking their quarry. In fact, some of the Native American legends speak of vengeful spirits who cursed the land, which resulted in gushing red streams.
There are even more eerie stories surrounding the state park, like sightings of Sasquatch, hearing drums playing in the distance, and seeing distant campfires that disappear. Even though there are explanations for many of these rumors, the very fact the Native Americans called this land sica, which means evil, suggests there's more to this place than meets the eye. Guests are drawn to these mysteries and love to hike through the lush forests, ravines, timber-capped hills, bogs, and wetlands.
The park's proximity to other cities makes it easy to find an RV rental and have an epic state park camping trip. The nearest town is Sisseton, but just 40 minutes away is another town called Rosholt, where you can also find a wide range of campers and motorhomes. Alternatively, search for an RV in Roberts County or Marshall County.
Due to the veil of mystery shrouding the nature of Sica Hollow State Park, hiking is one of the most popular activities here. One of the spookiest hikes you can take is the Trail of the Spirits. Rumor has it that animals are nowhere to be seen here and that you can hear the infamous drum playing while traveling this route. If you want to investigate some of the park's legends for yourself, the Trail of the Spirits is the place to do it. There's also an event called the moon hike, which can also be creepy as you walk across dimly lit paths during the night. Or, skip the spookiness altogether and explore the park on horseback during the day.
Guests who enjoy spending time birdwatching should definitely bring their binoculars for their Sica Hollow State Park camping trip. Some of the birds commonly spotted around here include hummingbirds, owls, warblers, woodpeckers, and waterfowl.
Finally, don’t spend all of your time chasing ghosts; the park is a beautiful retreat first and foremost. So have a nice picnic or barbecue with your family and friends, or if you're visiting during winter, spend time skiing or building a snowman.
Sica Hollow State Park Campground only has eight RV-friendly campsites. The campsites are primitive, so there no electricity or water hookups, but there are some amenities to make your RV camping experience more pleasant. You can find drinking water, vault toilets, and picnic tables near the camping area.
When searching for your RV rental, be sure to select a rig that's 45 feet long or less. Also, the park is pet-friendly, so if you're going to explore the mysterious woods of the state park, you can do so with your furry friend.
Once your rural escape has come to an end, you can treat yourself with a nice meal in the town of Sisseton or any other city near the state park. Sisseton has a decent selection of restaurants, but it does lack diversity compared to other cities in the surrounding area. You'll find American and Mexican restaurants, fast food places, and pizzerias in Sisseton, as well as grocery shops and gas stations, which is quite handy.
For more entertainment and more dining options, you can go to Watertown, around 75 miles away from the state park. While in Watertown, make sure you visit the home of Arthur Calvin Mellette, South Dakota's first governor. The Italian-style house was constructed by Arthur and his family in 1885. The house is also filled with antiques that tell the story of the Mellette family.
Another place you should definitely visit is the Redlin Art Center, a spectacular gallery showcasing the work of Terry Redlin, a famous painter. He produced multiple series of paintings, each of which told a different story. These stories mostly explored the connection between humans and nature and were also about life in a small rural town. The artwork is absolutely stellar, and it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity to witness it firsthand.
If you love animals, or if you're traveling with kids, stop by Bramble Park Zoo, also located in Watertown. Here, you'll see an incredible number of animal species, learn new things about exotic creatures, or even participate in different events.