South Dakota's Lewis and Clark Trail promoted Imagine facing the extensive exploration of the vast, unknown of the American West rowing, sailing, pulling and pushing up the Missouri River in a 55-foot keelboat. That's the challenge Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and their hardy band of explorers undertook as they set off on a four-year journey of a lifetime.
Now, 200 years later the South Dakota Department of Tourism and State Development is urging South Dakotans to experience the trail for themselves. The department is mailing South Dakota households a Lewis and Clark Trail Guide which provides a historical background of the explorers' trek through present-day South Dakota and identifies key sites along the trail. South Dakotans are challenged to visit each of the sites. The mailing coincides with a television ad campaign encouraging residents to "Hike with Lewis" and "Sail with Clark."
"The story of Lewis and Clark in present-day South Dakota is a compelling, legendary drama," said John Calvin, secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development. "While here, the Corps of Discovery held the first election by U.S. citizens west of the Mississippi. They heard of 18-inch spirits and set off to a mysterious mound to find them. They held their first councils with the Yankton and Teton Sioux. And they made wondrous animal discoveries when they found what they called barking squirrels, prairie
wolves and wild goats. South Dakotans should embrace the story and appreciate the heritage it reflects," said Calvin.
The campaign is a concerted effort to educate the state's residents about South Dakota's historical trail sites as the state prepares for America's observance of the 200th anniversary of the journey. The Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, 2003-2006, has the potential to draw large numbers of visitors to South Dakota during a national pilgrimage to sites along the trail.
Visit travelsd.com for more information on Lewis and Clark or call 1-800-S-DAKOTA (1-800-732-5682) for a free South Dakota Vacation Guide or Lewis and Clark Trail Guide.