One Good Reason to Visit South Dakota (Besides Mount Rushmore)

If you’re planning the requisite road trip across the U.S. (my family took ours in a minivan 17 years ago), add one more stop on your tour of Americana: the geographical center of the country.

Eight miles south north of Belle Fourche, South Dakota is a red-tipped fence post marking the smack-dab middle of the U.S. The spot was dedicated in 1959 (when Hawaii became a state — if you thought the center was somewhere in Nebraska, you forgot to include Hawaii and Alaska).

Currently, the marker is inaccessible, as it’s located on private property in the middle of a barbed-wired pasture. Town leaders raised enough money to move the official center into town, and plan to place a 21-by-40 foot compass rose monument there. Belle Fourche is already considered the center of the nation city, so moving the geographical center shouldn’t be cheating … too much.