Spearfish named to best small towns list for second year, BHSU noted as part of top ranking

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, August 4, 2015/Categories: 2015








            Black Hills State University students study in Spearfish Canyon. Spearfish was recently named No. 8 of the Top 100 Best Small Towns by Livability.com. The community was also in the top four of 64 communities in Outdoor Magazine&rsquos Best Town 2015 competition. BHSU is noted as a key factor in Spearfish&rsquos placement, offering not only high-quality education, but a variety of activities from live performances, art shows and sporting events.



Spearfish was named a Top 10 Best Small Town by Livability.com for the second year in a row, with Black Hills State University listed as a significant contribution to the community&rsquos vibrant atmosphere.

Spearfish was ranked No. 8 on Livability.com&rsquos Top 100 Best Small Towns of 2015 list. Communities are selected and ranked by economy, housing opportunities, education and other data. Spearfish, with a population of nearly 14,000 and located in the Northern Black Hills, was noted for its excellent educational opportunities, family atmosphere and abundance of outdoor activities.

Spearfish was also named to Best Towns 2015: The Road Trip by Outside Magazine recently. Spearfish was one of 64 towns across the United States that was included in Outdoor Magazine&rsquos Best Town&rsquos 2015 contest. Spearfish made it to the top four in the online voting contest.

"BHSU provides a young, vibrant culture in Spearfish," said Brian Gebhart, BHSU alum and marketing and public relations assistant at Visit Spearfish. "Having the University in Spearfish brings students and employees to our community, which also allows us to have the variety of entertainment, restaurants and shops we do."

BHSU has one of the top education programs in the region and Spearfish benefits from the University providing student teachers, according to Livability.com. BHSU also offers educational opportunities for high school students through its Dual Credit program.

A variety of live performances, art shows and sporting events are held on campus throughout the year, offering endless options for Spearfish residents and those that live in the surrounding communities.

Outside Magazine noted Spearfish&rsquos location in the Northern Black Hills and its proximity to national monuments. Described as "a quiet town with an adventurous streak," the publication also showcased Spearfish Canyon where locals can fish, hike, rock climb, camp and mountain bike minutes away.

The variety of outdoor activities is something students at BHSU take full advantage of.

While a student at BHSU, Gebhart said having the Black Hills in his backyard made for excellent study breaks. He and friends spent time hiking in the fall and floating down the creek in the summer. Michelle Pribbernow, who graduated from BHSU in 1992, said she also found unique spots to study in Spearfish Canyon and the city parks.  

Others enjoy the close-knit community and comradery of Spearfish residents.

"The community is friendly, laid back. I can walk down the street and people will stop you to talk and chat about the weather," said Sande Bihlmaier, BHSU alum from Spearfish. "I love the school district and BHSU. I love how there are places to go hiking all around us."

And that beauty is evident on the BHSU campus, Gebhart added.

"It&rsquos a beautiful place," Gebhart said. "At BHSU you get to wake up in the morning and see Crow Peak and the mountains in the distance. It&rsquos just a great atmosphere."

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