Historical Significance · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall
Mostly paved paths and plenty of viewpoints make this route a good choice for families with children and/or strollers.
Some paths have stairs.
Along this loop, you'll see a working train trestle, multiple viewpoints of Sioux Falls, and the remains of the Queen Bee Mill. You can also climb the Falls Park Observation Tower for an aerial view of the park.
Need to Know
The Falls Overlook Cafe (located near the pedestrian bridge mentioned above) offers comfort food and ice cream.
There are multiple parking areas in Falls Park; this hike starts at the Stockyards Ag Museum. From the museum, walk down the path to the Falls Park Visitor Center with its viewing tower; turn right to follow the path up to the train trestle (you might even catch a locomotive or entire train crossing the trestle).
Retrace your steps to the first right to take you down to a viewpoint and then down to a bridge across the Big Sioux River. Both the viewpoint and the bridge offer excellent views of Sioux Falls.
At the end of the bridge, turn right along the river to several viewpoints, then continue left to circle around the ruins of the Queen Bee Mill. At the far end of the loop, go straight to a path right above the river to a viewpoint above the falls.
Retrace your steps to turn left on the trail that follows the river along the lower side of the Queen Bee Mill; turn left to return to the pedestrian bridge.
After crossing the bridge, turn right to return to the Visitor Center and the Falls Park Viewing Tower and back to the Stockyard Ag Museum.
History & Background
The Queen Bee Mill was built in 1879-81 to harness the power of Sioux Falls. However, the mill was never financially viable.