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Custer, USA: A Lot to Offer Part 1

In the Black Hills of South Dakota, you will find a true American gem. If you’re looking for adventures, look no further than Custer. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself completely overwhelmed by everything you see.

Custer State Park

Photo credit:   NatalieMaynor/Flickr

Photo credit: NatalieMaynor/Flickr

As one of the largest state parks in the country, Custer State Park is home to mountain lakes, roaming buffalos and the best adventure packed activities that Black Hills have to offer.

Try out rock-climbing on slender granite crags called “needles”; swim, canoe and fish in crystal clear mountain lakes and streams; or take a shoot at a challenging hike and mountain bike ride on towering peaks and thick pine forest. The park is packed with 1,500 buffalos, mountain goats, Bighorn sheep, elks, antelopes and prairie dogs.

Crazy Horse Memorial

The largest on-going mountain carving in the world, the Crazy Horse Memorial will be 563-feet-high. Korczak Ziolkowski, the sculptor, started carving the mountain in 1948 and his family continues the work today. The Memorial is supposed to honor the tradition, cultures and heritage of all North American tribes.

Wind Cave National Park

Photo credit:    daveynin/Flickr

Photo credit: daveynin/Flickr

Wind Cave National Park is one of the nation’s oldest national parks and it has been protected since 1903.

It’s also home to one of the longest and most complex underground caves in the world, over 28,000 acres of mixed prairie grasslands, pine forests and roaming wildlife.

You can go on a cave tour of your own choice – from a ½ hour strolling tour to a four-hour crawling adventure. The park is also home to a herd of free-roaming buffalo that can be seen grazing the prairies while you camp.

Jewel Cave National Monument

Jewel Cave National Monument is the second longest cave in the world, which is yet to be fully discovered. The cave is an underground geological wonder and it was named after jewel-like calcite crystals.

What makes this cave so special is the fact that it wasn’t carved by a river but by slowly circulating, acid-rich groundwater. Over 120 different bird species found home there, as well as wildflowers and native plants.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Photo credit:     Dean Franklin/Flickr

Photo credit: Dean Franklin/Flickr

Mount Rushmore doesn’t need an introductory. Carved into a granite mountainside, the faces of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln represent the founding and preservation of America. No trip to South Dakota is complete without experiencing Mount Rushmore.