We will need volunteers on the course and to help in the aid station. Copy and paste link below into a new window
The easiest and best way to get to Newton Hills State Park is to put it in your GPS. Directions will vary based on where you are driving from. Plug in this address please Newton Hills State Park, 28767 482nd Ave, Canton, SD 57013
Head east on Harney St toward S 13th St
Turn left at the 1st cross street onto S 13th St
Turn right onto Douglas St
Take the ramp onto I-480 E
Take exit 0 toward Riverfront
Keep left at the fork to continue toward W Broadway
Keep left and merge onto W Broadway
Parts of this road may be closed at certain times or days
Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Northbound Frontage Rd
Take the ramp on the left onto I-29 N
Keep left to stay on I-29 N
Entering South Dakota
Keep left to stay on I-29 N
Take exit 56 toward Fairview
Turn right onto 288th St
Turn left onto 482nd Ave
Main Entrance of Newton Hills State Park
Take MN-64 S, Co Rd 7, Co Rd 30, Co Rd 21 and Co Rd 79 to US-71 S/Main St S in Browerville
Continue on US-71 S. Take MN-23 W to 290th St/A54B Blvd in Sioux County
Continue on 290th St/A54B Blvd. Take 288th St to 482nd Ave in Highland Township
Main Entrance of Newton Hills State Park
About The Event
Glacier Hills Ultra gives runners the chance to take the next step to a longer distance as it provides race distances of 20 km, 30 km, and 50 km. We have a hard cutoff of 8 hours for all 3 races to finish!
Since we start at 6am all runners must be done by 2 pm (horses are not allowed on the course until after 1:30) if for some reason horses do get onto the trail before the set time make sure to notify us so we can alert the park rangers.
Our volunteers are limited on their ability to stay and help so we need to be strict with this. If the time cut off is an issue please message the directors.
This race is just a fun event and a break from the daily grind of being a farmer, teacher and probation officer. This is not our full time job. Sometimes our communication is great, sometimes overwhelming and other years next to nothing. We thank you for choosing to run with us and see the secrets that Newton Hills holds!
Depending on volunteers we will try to get splits for your loops during the race. We are not perfect.
Join us October 28, 2023 for a great run through Newton Hills State Park (near Canton, SD), one of the jewels of SD state parks. So, we hope you'll come and join us in October.
Be sure to be ON TIME! The races start as follows
50K - 6am
30K - 7am
20K - 8am
Getting to the start of the race is sometimes the hardest part ESPECIALLY IN THE DARK! We strongly suggest if you are staying at the park or close by to drive to the start/finishline so that you know where everything is so you aren't rushed on race day. We strongly suggest that if you are coming on race morning to give yourself time to find parking and to find the start/finishline. We will have cones and flags but it will be PITCH DARK in the morning so make sure you are paying attention! The bridge to Blue Diamond will be on the left hand side of the road. There is some parking on the right hand side of the road in the field. You will go down a slight embankment to cross the bridge. There will be lights on the bridge so that you are able to see it from the road.
When you get to Newton Hills State Park come in the main entrance by the ranger station. You will enter the park and drive to the T in the road. The T in the road you will follow the road to the right (enter the trees going down the road headed to horse camp). Blue Diamond Trail Head will be where you can park and cross the bridge to the start of the race.
*If you are running the 50K we encourage you to park at the horse camp and walk the short distance down the gravel road the to the pavilion in the open field where the race start will be. You can access that from the Horse Camp entrance which is off of 482nd Ave.
The course consists of a 10km loop through the NH trail system. Each race is comprised of the number of loops needed to reach the chosen distance (i.e. 2, 3, or 5 loops).
The races both start and finish in the same area right by the picnic shelter on the other side of the suspension bridge (Blue Diamond Trail Head). Racers will start in the open area, runners will be running the 4 Miles loop first. The runners will run down the gravel road always STAYING TO THE RIGHT taking them on a flat gravel road through the horse camp. Runners will run up a slight hill before turning left into the gravel parking area and heading up Trail A to start on the rest of the lap. The 4 Mile loop can be the most confusing. Follow the glow sticks and signs. ALWAYS STAY TO THE RIGHT when in doubt remember to STAY RIGHT!
The route then turns onto the Blue Diamond Mulit-Use Trail where the trail is shared with horses (not during the race). There are three prominent climbs with sections of flat trails in between. Every year at least one person gets lost by missing the wooden bridge to cross over the Trail D so pay attention when you are out running. Remember this is a trail race so pick up your feet, there are sticks, rocks and tree roots on the trail. The last .75 mile is a long gradual downhill which leads back to the start/finish area. You will come past the aid station to head out onto the Turkey Trot loop portion of the race. This portion is newly created due to erosion so YOU NEED TO BE CAREFUL. It is narrow and off camber at the start and finish of the loop. This is the only section of the course where you will stay left to cross the bridge to come back to the start area. THIS WILL BE CLEARLY MARKED AND A VOLUNTEER WILL BE THERE!
While South Dakota is generally known for its lack of topography, the Newton Hills trails are anything but flat. Runners need to bring headlamps the first few laps for the 50K are in the dark. To help light the way there are glow sticks in the trees and light up sticks in the ground.
The Challenge HOW TO EARN A BETTY
When we first took over this race we devised a fun award that runners could earn from consistently running this event. Betty the Yeti is a great award that runners are lucky to have in their possession. In order to earn a Betty a runner must complete all of the distances (20K, 30K and 50K) within the time cut off. will earn a Betty The Yeti designed by Aravaipa_Artworx.
This challenge takes three years to complete but the energy this event brings is well worth the wait!
YOU NEED TO NOTIFY the race directors that it is your intention to earn your Betty this year so one can be ordered for you. This needs to be done well in advance of the event. We will double check that you have done all distances.
We will not be keep track of people who are attempting to get a multiple Betty. If this is something you would want to do unfortunately unless you pay for your additional ones it is not in our finances to continually purchase them.
There are tent sites, RV sites and limited cabins at Newton Hills State Park. Make the time to stay for the weekend and enjoy the beauty of Eastern South Dakota.
This is a smaller race with the longest distance being the 50K. With runners being able to pass by the aid station 2 times each loop drop bags are not necessary unless you need to pack extra clothing, specific food items or to remove your headlamp when done running.
Event's current local time: 6:19 AM MT
We will have a tarp located off to the side of the aid station where runners will be able to place their drop bags. It is your responsibility to label your drop bag. The items will be safe while you run WE DO NOT keep an eye on items (Midwest Trust).
It is suggested if you plan on changing shoes or socks you bring a chair or a bucket to sit on.