Palisades State Park is a cute little state park and is one of the most unique areas in South Dakota. Split Rock Creek, which flows through the park, is lined with Sioux quartzite formations varying from shelves several feet above the water to 50-foot vertical cliffs. Scenic overlooks and rushing water make Palisades a popular getaway. The park is located just south of Garretson, 10 miles off I-90. At only 157 acres it is South Dakota’s second-smallest state park.
Pioneers settled in the area beginning in 1865. In the 1870s Split Rock Creek was harnessed to power a large flour and feed mill, and a town called Palisades formed around it. Silver was discovered shortly downstream in 1886, prompting a short-lived silver rush but the ore was found to be low quality. Three years later Garretson became a railroad junction and most of Palisades relocated to the north. A steel truss bridge built over Split Rock Creek in 1908 is on the National Register of Historic Places.