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a watchtower under the stars at Newton Hills State Park

Whether you need somewhere just to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature, or a place that provides you with an active outdoor experience, Newton Hills State Park offers something for everyone.

Situated in southeastern South Dakota, just a 40 minute drive south of Sioux Falls, the park encompasses over 2,000 spectacular acres of rolling hills, scenic bluffs and wooded valleys.

A haven for those who enjoy hiking, there are several trails that run through the park, including some that lead to overlooks with jaw-dropping panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. In addition to the hiking trails, fishing is also a popular activity. As is birding, with the park being noted as an excellent spot to observe several species of migratory birds.

One of the more popular state parks in South Dakota, Newtown Hills is visited by thousands of people every year from all over the USA.

To accommodate them, there is a splendid campground onsite that has both electrical and non-electrical sites and a range of modern amenities, which are designed to ensure guests have a comfortable stay.


For visitors to Newton Hills, the park has several draws when it comes to leisure and outdoor recreational activities.

Here is a quick overview of some of the best things you can see and do during your time there.

Fishing at Newton Hills State Park

If you are a keen angler you should bring your rods and reels with you to Newtown Hills State Park.

Fishing is a popular activity at the park, providing visitors with a great opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy a fun and relaxing outdoor activity.

Its fishing pond is stocked with a variety of fish species, including catfish, bass, and bluegill, all of which bite regularly.

Visitors to the park are welcome to bring their own fishing gear or rent equipment from the park office.

In order to cast a line, they need a valid South Dakota fishing license if they are over the age of 16. They will also need to abide by the park’s fishing regulations, including size and catch limits.

Hiking at Newton Hills State Park

For those who want to explore into the heart of the park, there are several hiking trails that wind their way through it.

These trails vary in terms of degrees of difficulty and length, but they all showcase a different aspect of the park’s stunning topography.

If you can only tackle one trail during your time at the park, make it the Newton Hills Trail. Stretching for about 3.5 miles, it takes you through the park’s rolling hills and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Other trails lead to scenic overlooks that provide panoramic views of the picturesque countryside.

Whichever trail you plan to attempt, be sure to wear appropriate footwear and a hat, bring plenty of water, and be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially during the warmer months.

You should also bring your camera or smartphone with you as you will want to take lots of photos and videos of the park’s scenic beauty.

Birding at Newton Hills State Park

Many people come to Newton Hills State Park specifically for birding.

Throughout its landscapes are various habitats that are conducive for housing several bird species, including both resident and migratory birds.

Some of the breeds you can see include songbirds such as the American Goldfinch, Eastern Bluebird, and Northern Cardinal. Game birds like Wild Turkey and Northern Bobwhite are also prevalent too, whilst migratory birds including warblers, vireos, and flycatchers can be spotted at certain times of the year.

Birders are encouraged to bring a field guide and binoculars to help identify the different species they see. To give yourself the best chance of spotting them you should wear clothes that blend in with the environment.

Nature & Wildlife

Nature and wildlife are a big part of the experience at Newton Hills State Park, providing visitors with the opportunity to connect with the natural world and observe a variety of species in their native habitat.

The park’s varied terrain houses a diverse array of wildlife, including deer, raccoons and squirrels.

Visitors to the park can enjoy wildlife watching from several trails and overlooks, or they can simply sit and relax while observing the wildlife from their campsite or picnic area.


You are welcome to bring pets with you to Newton Hills State Park, but you should be aware there are some rules and regulations that visitors need to adhere to.

For instance, pets can join you in designated pet camping areas and on trails, but they are not allowed in rental cabins or yurts.

Pet owners are also responsible for cleaning up after their pets and ensuring they are kept under control on a leash and well behaved at all times.

To get a full rundown of the park’s pet policy it is worth contacting the main office.


Camping at Newton Hills State Park provides a wonderful opportunity for visitors to enjoy the beauty and serenity of its natural landscape.

The park’s campground is set within rolling hills, wooded valleys, and scenic bluffs. Within it you will find both electrical and non-electrical sites for tents and RVs.

Amenities at this campground include picnic tables, fire pits, and restroom facilities. Campers can also purchase firewood and other essentials at the park office, and there is also a dump station available for those with RVs.

As the campsite gets busy, visitors are encouraged to reserve their spots in as far in advance of their arrival as possible, especially during the peak summer months, as the campground can fill up quickly.

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing the different campsites at Newton Hills State Park:

Park Location

Newton Hills State Park
28767 482nd Ave
Canton, SD 57013
Phone: 605.987.2263

Park Website