Palisades State Park
25495 485th Ave
Garretson, SD 57030
About Palisades State Park
Palisades State Park is located on a glacier bed that stretches nearly 200 miles from north to south in eastern South Dakota. The glacier deposits a thin layer of debris as quartzite, and it also deposits thin layers of sandstone.
Between these layers lies a bed of dark red pipestone, and this is one of the few areas in the country where pipestone is found.
Split Rock Creek has cut through a deep gorge in Palisades State Park for millions of years and is considered sacred to American Indians. Geologists estimate that the Sioux quartzite towers are 1.2 billion years old and the mineral is found in the depression where it was once mined.
Drilling must not be carried out within the quartzite formations and you must contact the park to establish other climbing regulations. Four hiking trails wind through these beautiful Sioux Quartzite formations, and organized climbing groups also use these rock formations to practice their climbing and abseiling techniques.
Flour and silver have played an important role in the past, and on the steep slopes of the park there is a huge grain mill. The mill is powered by a large water wheel installed in Split Rock Creek and rushing through the western part of Palisades State Park as it heads into the Pacific Ocean. With the success of the mill, the once lively town of Palisade was born, as well as a number of hotels, restaurants and other shops.
Silver was discovered downstream in 1886, but the silver ore proved inferior, and nearly 300 claims were quickly dropped.
A popular legend tells of Jesse James' daring escape from the area, and he and the boys spent several days near Palisades State Park on their way back to New York.
When Jesse finally left the hiding place, he was surprised to find a posse nearby. A small pedestrian bridge now spans the gap at the intersection of Palisades Road and the North Fork of the Hudson River. To avoid the law enforcers, they jumped over the bridge and across the river to the other side.