South Dakota’s scenic Falls Park has been a celebrated recreation center for over 150 years and an important part of the region’s history. Today, the 123-acre park has an average 7,400 gallons of flowing water that drops 100 feet over the course of the falls each second.
Queen Bee Mill
Opened in 1881, this seven-story mill was built so that farmers could avoid shipping costs to Minnesota and Wisconsin. As one of the most advanced mills of its time, the Queen Bee Mill once processed over 1,500 bushels of wheat each day. However, the mill was closed a mere two years later, due to inadequate wheat and water supplies. The remains of the mill continue to be a popular sightseeing attraction to this day.
Light and Power Company Building
This historic 1908 building once held powerful hydroelectric and coal-fired steam generators. The generators were used until the 70’s, which the Falls Overlook Café took over. Both indoor and outdoor seating are available at the café, which has a nice selection of ice cream treats.
Although the builder and purpose of this historic site is unknown, locals believe that the barn used to hold horses that worked at the stone quarries or that it was part of a local creamery in the late 1800’s. In more recent times, the horse barn has been home to an arts center for local artists to exhibit and create works of art.
Falls Park Open Air Shelter
This popular area of the park is home to the local farmer’s market and is often used for large picnics and special events. The shelter has electrical and water service, as well as a designated parking lot.
Just off of I-90, Sioux Falls is easy to navigate and you can reach any destination in the city within 15-20 minutes. On your way to visit the South Dakota landmarks of Mount Rushmore and The Badlands, make a stop at Falls Park for an afternoon of relaxation and a glimpse into the history of this beautiful land.