7 votes

Badlands Petrified Gardens

Exit 152 off I-90, Kadoka, South Dakota 57543 USA

  • Outdoor

“weird and wild gardens”

In 1910, 34 year old Hugh Fugate moved his family from Wisconsin to the Nemo, SD area where he took employment as a logger for the Homestake Lumber Company until 1918. From 1918 until 1946 he was employed in Rapid City, SD by Warren Lamb Lumber Company and Buckingham Lumber Company. During his life as a logger, lumber man, and carpenter Hugh developed an avid interest in petrified wood. Hugh and a friend named Black purchased some land near Piedmont, SD that had an abundance of petrified wood. In 1938, Hugh and his son Ed, who was also working at Warren Lamb, purchased Black’s portion of the land and started the Black Hills Petrified Forest as a part time business that relied on donations for its operation. Ed enlisted in the US Army during WWII and served in the South Pacific Theatre. When Ed returned from the war, he and his wife Floy purchased Hugh’s interest in the business and operated the Petrified Forest at Piedmont, SD until 1955 when construction of I-90 removed access to their business. In 1956, Ed and Floy along with their three small children Bob, Bill, and Patty moved their business to its present location 1 ½ miles east of Kadoka, SD. They chose the name Badlands Petrified Gardens because of the proximity to the Badlands and “Gardens” rather than “Forest” because the petrified wood was gathered and placed at its present location rather than having been found at that site. In 1976 Ed and Floy incorporated their business to include their three children.In 1986 Ed and Floy returned to Rapid City, SD to live. Bill has managed the Gardens since that time. Bob and his wife Kathy have faithfully worked during the summer months when they were on break from teaching school. Since their retirement from teaching they have continued to help operate the Gardens during the summer months.

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Reviewed by
Nomadic Powers

  • 1 Review
  • 3 Helpful
June 16, 2014

$6 each admission. Didn't seem worth it to us so we left.

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 11 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
September 16, 2017
Rated 5.0

If you are into rocks and fossils, this is the place for you! We loved learning about the glowing minerals to the history of petrified wood to the different fossils they had on display. Worth the $6 admission fee or $5 with Military Discount. You can even pick out stones for yourself for a low price of $3 per pound with $1.50 being the minimum charge. If you are into Paleontology, you will love this!

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Reviewed by

  • 15 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
June 27, 2017
Rated 5.0

Unexpected *gem*. This was way cooler than I would have thought. Almost skipped it, so happy that we didn't.

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Reviewed by

  • 4 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
April 03, 2015

SEASONAL!! 👎. Not open till "late April"

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Badlands Petrified Gardens

Exit 152 off I-90
Kadoka, South Dakota
57543 USA

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  • Outdoor Seating

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