How to Get to the Bottom of DeCew Falls As you approach near the Miller House (I'm still not sure whether someone lives there), you'll notice a little gate with the word "push" engraved on it. This is the beginning of the Bruce Trail as you progress through it. Wear either water shoes or running shoes for this hike. The trail is not paved and can be quite muddy in places.
The town of DeCew is about five minutes' drive from the Bruce Trailhead. There are several small restaurants in the area that serve Canadian food; however, if you're looking for something more extensive than a snack, then head back into town and find one of the many accommodation options.
DeCew Falls is a short walk from the Bruce Trailhead. It's free to enter the park, but donations are accepted by the Miller House to help maintain the building and its surrounding trails. There are also some interesting rock formations around the area that are worth checking out.
If you want to stay at the Bruce Trail Campground, the minimum age to camp here is 13 years old. You must show a valid ID card to prove your age. There are also some rules regarding alcohol and drugs that you should know before you arrive.
A large sign at the entrance to the campground points out the various activities that can be done in the area. These include hiking, biking, fishing, and even cross-country skiing.
The official side path to the foot of Sutherland Falls (1.5 hours back from Quintin Lodge) forks off the main trail near Quintin Lodge and Shelter. Leave your pack at the shelter (but remember to bring your raincoat) and follow the trail to the falls. The last part is very steep, with about 200 feet of elevation gain if you're walking down.
If you don't want to walk the entire way, you can drive to this spot on a clear day. From the parking lot, it's about a 1-mile round-trip hike to the falls. Be sure to pick up a map at the visitor center before you go so you know what lies ahead.
The best time to visit Sutherland Falls is in late summer when the colors are at their brightest. In fall, you'll find many colorful leaves drifting along the riverbed, while in winter, you'd only see white water due to the lack of leaves on the trees.
Sutherland Falls is also one of the most popular hikes in the area, so expect to have to wait for others to leave before you can go straight to the falls without waiting for them to go first.
There are some alternative routes that will take you closer to the falls but they're not recommended for beginners because there are several steep sections involved.
The park's most interesting feature is the hidden Curt Gowdy State Park waterfall, fittingly dubbed Hidden Falls. To get back here, take the Crow Creek Trail back into the park approximately 2 miles and wade through some shallow water. It's a long travel, but it's well worth it!
Hidden Falls is only accessible during wet seasons. When we were there, the falls were running strong after recent rainstorms, but be aware that access may be limited if there is not enough water for the trail.
The state of South Dakota has done a good job of preserving this natural wonder by limiting visitation to prevent additional damage from happening. As such, they charge a fee to enter the park ($8 per person). This money goes towards maintaining the trails as well as providing other services like campground facilities and educational programs.
In addition to the main park, Gowdy also managed to save another small piece of land next door called Sunset Campground. The 50-site campground offers full hookups and can be used independently of the main park entrance.
Sunset Campground has its own unique attractions including a playground and fishing pier. There is also a store on site where you can buy food and supplies.
Hidden Falls is about an hour drive from Pierre, South Dakota.
We came to a halt at the Dupont Lodge and hiked the 0.75-mile to the waterfalls. You may also drive to the falls from the Visitor's Center. The road is narrow and winding, but it's very scenic.
The hike to the falls is short, but it can be quite strenuous if it's been raining recently or not. Make sure to bring good shoes or boots for this walk. The trail is not paved and there are no signs marking the way, so make sure to follow the directions of the rangers when you arrive at the falls. They will point you in the right direction.
Yes, you can drive to the falls at Cumberland Falls. This is an easy walk that doesn't require any physical effort. So, if you're looking to relax after a long day of driving around Maryland, then this is the place for you!