Needles Custer State Park

Custer State Park is a state park and wildlife reserve in the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota, USA. The park is South Dakota’s largest and first state park, named after General George Armstrong Custer. The area originally started out as sixteen sections but was later changed into one block of land because of the challenges of the terrain. The park began to grow rapidly in the 1920s and gained new land. During 1930 the Civilian Conservation Corps built miles of roads, laid out parks and campgrounds, and build three dams that set up a future of water recreation at the park. In 1964 an additional 22,900 acres (93 km²) were added to the park. The park covers an area of over 71,000 acres (287 km²) of hilly terrain and is home to many wild animals. It is home to a famous herd of 1500 free-roaming bison. Elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, mountain lions, and feral burros also inhabit the park. The park is famous for its scenery, its scenic drives (Needles Highway and the wildlife loop), with views of the bison herd and prairie dog towns. This park is easily accessible by road from Rapid City. Other nearby attractions are Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Badlands National Park.