“Geographic Center of the Nation”
The Geographic Center of the Nation Monument, a 21-foot diameter structure made of etched-SD granite marks Belle Fourche as the town closest to the center of the 50 states. The monument is located at the Belle Fourche Chamber and Visitor Information Center/Tri-State Museum building offering visitors a rewarding, well-rounded vision of the Belle Fourche experience.
We didn't go here, instead we went to the real center on the country. Go north out of Belle Fourche about 15 miles on US 85. Turn left onto Old Hwy 85 and go about 7.5-8 miles.
On the right, in a filed, you'll see an American flag. And 2 USGS markers, one from 1959, the other from 1962, marking the spot.
If you're travelling on US 85, it's a nice detour.
I like that they put the marker next to some other stuff to see and do, like the museum. This is the kind of place that's best appreciated while on a long road trip-- you can get out, stretch your legs, take a few pictures and get your mind off being on the road for a minute, but it's definitely not going to be a long stop or anything.
Here's a twist! The Geographical Center of North America isn't here. In fact, it's not even in South Dakota. To see the true (and less rewarding) Geographical Center of North America, make a trip to the small town of Rugby, North Dakota.
You can still go and get a picture even when it’s closed! Stand in the middle and snap a picture from the stairs! Best angle in my opinion.
Might not be the real spot but it’s a neat museum with kids activities to stretch your legs and learn some history.
Stopped inside for a postcard, pressed penny, and my daughter got a spoon for her collection too.
Great free museum, national site, and a cabin to walk thru. Quick drive from Spearfish or Devil's Tower.
You have to visit during the day as it’s not well lit, but it’s a neat setup and there’s other stuff there. We enjoyed it as a quick break from the road.
So, we learned this isn't exactly the center. It's a nice monument but after learning that it was not the center.... we were a bit disappointed. Why erect such an elaborate monument when it's not the real thing?
This can't possibly be the center of the country. And nothing north of it either.
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Center of the Nation Monument
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