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America’s 250th South Dakota Commission launches walking challenge

The America’s 250th South Dakota Commission has announced the launch of “Walk 250 Miles by 2026.”  It’s the first of many events in South Dakota meant to celebrate the anniversary of the nation’s founding in 2026.

“The ultimate goal is to complete 250 miles of outdoor exercise while visiting historic locations throughout the state,” said Dr. Ben Jones, director of the South Dakota State Historical Society. “Participants will have from July 4, 2024, to July 4, 2026, to complete the challenge.”

The walking challenge encourages individuals to get outside, exercise, and enjoy the historical significance of their surroundings. Participants track their own miles and submit them through an online form. Participants can earn prizes based on miles completed and locations visited.

“We have numerous trails across the state, and this gives individuals the opportunity to explore our outdoor resources and take in the history as well,” said Nick Harrington, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks communications manager. “We're excited for individuals to learn about our history and make their own memories in the outdoors.”

The commission has partnered with the City of Deadwood, Department of Game, Fish & Parks, the Battleship South Dakota Memorial, and the South Dakota State Fair to create miles-based challenges for additional prizes. Candidates will also be able to work towards smaller milestones such as walking or 80 miles in honor of 80 years since the launch of Operation OVERLORD during World War II or walking 150 miles to celebrate Deadwood’s anniversary. As the program begins, additional challenges will be announced.

More information can be found on the SDSHS website.


About America’s 250th South Dakota Commission
South Dakota is part of America 250, a nonpartisan initiative working to engage every American in commemorating the 250th anniversary of our country. The multi-year effort, from now through July 4, 2026, is an opportunity to pause and reflect on our nation’s past, honor the contributions of all Americans, and look ahead toward the future we want to create for the next generation and beyond. For questions or memberships, call (605) 773-3458 or visit for more information.