Scenic new trail, destination dining and locally grown market await in Dell Rapids

June 24, 2020

This paid piece is sponsored by the Minnehaha County Economic Development Association.

New ways to get outside, shop local and still keep up social distancing await with a quick trip to Dell Rapids.

Just minutes north of Sioux Falls, the growing community offers the perfect day trip or night out.

Sioux River Red Rock Trail

Take in the “dells” of Dell Rapids as part of a scenic new reason to visit the community this summer.

The Sioux River Red Rock Trail is a destination 15 years in the making, thanks to community volunteers who wanted to make this city attraction more accessible.

“We were looking for a way to open it up to more people,” said Linsey Duffy, part of a committee that worked with the city through years of construction and fundraising.

The trail has grown to more than three miles – featuring picnic spots, quartzite landscaping and plenty of photo opportunities.

COVID-19 amplified its use, Duffy said.

“It’s been wonderful. It has been the only thing that was open during the last couple of months, and so it’s been packed with families on bikes and walking,” she said.

“And the nice thing about the trails, it gives you access to all the fishing areas in town. And so there’s been a lot more fishing too.”

The main quartzite feature, the dells of the Big Sioux River, is the town namesake and easily seen from the adjacent trail.

“Those are great because if you go off-trail there’s lots of cool climbing and wandering and exploring with all the quartzite rock features,” Duffy said.

People use the trail for everything from biking to birdwatching. You can get right on the river too.

“People kayak and canoe down it,” Duffy said, adding there’s a boat ramp at the city park, which also is along the trail.

“The river’s nice and high yet. We’ve had some years where it gets pretty low, but right now it’s high, so getting over the rapids isn’t as big of a deal this year.”

A new half-mile stretch under construction will lead to the site of the first mill in Minnehaha County. It’s scheduled to be done later this summer.

“It’s a cool site, very beautiful with the waterfall, lots and lots of wildlife there and lots of rock formations and climbing there. So it’s a fun place to go and explore,” Duffy said.

“The nice thing about this trail is it’s in a small town. And so when you come from out of town, you’re still going to be greeted with a smile and a hello and feel very welcomed.”

To learn more, click here. 

Dell Rapids Farmers Market

After starting in a Dell Rapids family’s backyard, the community farmers market moves to the city park this year. In part, that’s because of construction, but it also offers plenty of space for the 18 vendors to spread out and take advantage of a park shelter.

“We’re going to have a variety of crafts, baked goods; there’s going to be fresh breakfast burritos, fresh kettle corn. Anything you can find at a bigger market you could find here,” co-organizer Jennifer Mason said.

But produce is the star here.

“It really is focused around the produce,” Mason said, adding vendors will work with customers to provide produce during weeks the market isn’t open too.

“We really have something great here,” she added.

The market starts at 9 a.m. July 25 and runs every other Saturday through September, when the final event features more than 1,000 pumpkins and activities for kids. It’s open until noon.

Organizers are following CDC guidelines and plan to add hand-washing stations and sanitizer spray.

“We are working on trying to get some online ordering going, but we’re just not big enough yet to where that would be functional quite yet, but we are going to try to work on a way to get that done,” Mason said.

To learn more, click here.

Papa’s Pub & Eatery

And finally, head to downtown Dell Rapids where Fourth Street is filled with shopping and dining – including this one-of-a-kind restaurant in a historic opera house.

Owners David and Rebecca Ohayon opened Papa’s Pub & Eatery 18 months ago.

“It’s been humbling,” David Ohayon said, adding that COVID-19 forced them to change to a carryout and delivery model while limiting the crowd to 10 inside.

“And the support was shown by people coming out regularly,” he said.

“They took really good care of us.”

The restaurant is named in memory of David’s father, who honored his French tradition of family and food.

It’s a diverse menu from tacos and Italian to fresh burgers and hand-cut steaks.

“We make our sauces from scratch,” Ohayon said. “And then at lunch, we’ve got a diverse selection of sandwiches that we make every day.”

Upstairs, the 1880s opera house is still fully functional. The hope is to add shows in conjunction with dinners during the fall and holiday season.

Papa’s Pub is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. There’s a daily happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m.

“I’m just grateful,” Ohayon said. “I’m loving what I’m doing now. It’s great to be able to do it for my family and myself, and the community here has really embraced us. We love this place.”

To learn more, click here. 

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Scenic new trail, destination dining and locally grown market await in Dell Rapids

New ways to get outside, shop local and still keep up social distancing await with a quick trip to Dell Rapids.

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