South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds recently rededicated the State Game Lodge at Custer State Park following a $2.7 million renovation project over the winter.
I’m sure it was a proud moment for Rounds, who has said that Peter Norbeck was the state’s best governor. It was Norbeck who spearheaded the development of Custer State Park and convinced President Calvin Coolidge to vacation at its State Game Lodge in 1927. Norbeck also is given credit for envisioning the park’s Iron Mountain Road, with its unique pigtail bridges and tunnels that frame Mount Rushmore.
The updated State Game Lodge is described well on its Web site:
This gracious stone and wood lodge is set in a beautiful mountain valley, surrounded by a ponderosa pine forest. Grace Coolidge Creek winds through the valley and offers excellent trout fishing. Oak, birch, and aspen trees line the babbling creek, providing a colorful year round display. … Inside, you’ll discover a blend of the past and the present, the elegant and the outdoors. Accommodations range from stately lodge rooms to modern motel rooms and cozy cabins.
Custer State Park, within which the lodge is located, is one of the biggest and best state parks in the nation. The park’s beauty is unsurpassed and its recreational opportunities are second to none. Park visitors can hike Harney Peak, the state’s highest mountain; ride horses; mountain-bike; rock-climb; fish; participate in a chuckwagon supper; drive a wildlife loop through a bison herd; drive the scenic Needles Highway; take in a performance at the Black Hills Playhouse, and much more.
So if you’re looking for a unique vacation headquarters, consider following in the footsteps of Calvin Coolidge and book a stay at the State Game Lodge. Or, check out any of the other places to stay within Custer State Park.