• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

Wind Cave Begins Night Hikes In Search of Ferrets

Black-footed Ferret in Wind Cave National Park
Black-footed Ferret in Wind Cave National Park
NPS Photo

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News Release Date: July 1, 2010
Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-745-1130

Wind Cave National Park, S.D. – Rangers at Wind Cave National Park will be offering special night hikes this summer in hope of seeing a black-footed ferret, the rarest animal in North America. 

Starting July 10, these special ranger programs will begin at the Elk Mountain Campground at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays. After a brief presentation, the group will caravan by car to a nearby prairie dog town where the ranger will lead the group across the prairie. The program ends at 10:30 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to bring a flashlight, long pants, good hiking shoes, and to dress for the weather. These special night hikes are offered through August 14.  

"This is an excellent opportunity to experience the prairie world at night," said park superintendent Vidal Davila. "A night-time hike across a prairie offers visitors a chance to view the Milky Way, listen to wildlife, and possibly see a black-footed ferret." 

Beside these special ferret programs, park rangers present evening campfire programs every night on a variety of topics. These 45-minute programs begin at 9 p.m. through August 14 and at 8 p.m. from August 15 through September 6. 

For more information on any of these programs, visit www.nps.gov/wica or call 605-745-4600.

Did You Know?

fire on the prairie

Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.