South Dakota

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Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/adams-homestead

Spanning 1,500 acres along the Missouri River, this area was donated to the people of South Dakota in 1984 by Mary and Maud Adams, granddaughters of original homesteader Stephen Searl Adams. They envisioned the area as a place where people, particularly youth, could enjoy the land and learn more about the natural world surrounding them. Mary and Maud wanted to give others a "place for inner renewal.

Angostura Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/angostura/

Angostura Reservoir is a water-lover's haven with breathtaking, scenic views. Offering crystal clear waters, 36 miles of shoreline, and some of the finest sandy beaches in the state, the area boasts many water sports and summer fun activities - camping, boating, fishing, and swimming.

Bear Butte State Park

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/bear-butte

Mato Paha or "Bear Mountain" is the Lakota name given to this site. To the Cheyenne, it is "Noahvose." This geological formation is one of several intrusions of igneous rock in the Black Hills that formed millions of years ago. The mountain is sacred to many American Indian tribes who come here to hold religious ceremonies. Please be respectful of worshippers and their religious practices.

Beaver Creek Nature Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/beaver-creek

Developed to increase environmental awareness in visitors, Beaver Creek Nature Area highlights natural and historical resources in the vicinity. Pioneers named the creek for the numerous beaver they found along the winding spring-fed stream. The stream flows year-round, supplying the numerous plants and animals with water, and in turn, supplying visitors with opportunities to observe nature up-close.

Big Sioux Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/big-sioux

Big Sioux Recreation Area lies on the banks of South Dakota's Big Sioux River. Close to the cities of Brandon and Sioux Falls, Big Sioux is popular among campers, canoers, history buffs and archers. When the snow flies, groups of snowmobilers gather at the enclosed warming house.

Big Stone Island Nature Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/big-stone

An 1823 expedition led by Major Stephan Long and geologist William Keating explored the Big Stone Lake region. Shortly after entering present-day South Dakota, they met an American Indian village on a rocky island (Big Island). This island is now the 100-acre nature area.

Burke Lake Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/burke-lake

Like an oasis on the prairie, Burke Lake Recreation Area sits next to a 25-acre lake which is surrounded by trees. Whether boating, kayaking or canoeing, visitors enjoy this lake that averages only eight feet in depth. Native and introduced prairie grasses and wildflowers abound in the 206-acre park, and wildlife of all kinds inhabit this unique area.

Buryanek Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/buryanek

Buryanek Recreation Area is popular with boaters and anglers, as well those looking for scenic beauty along the Missouri River. History buffs will enjoy knowing that the Lewis and Clark expedition traveled through the area, where they were told to watch for "burning bluffs" along the river.

Chief White Crane Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/chief-white-crane

With its 146 campsites and ten camping cabins, Chief White Crane is a great place for groups to gather to spend the weekend. Combined with its own facilities and the features of the other two state parks nearby, Lewis & Clark and Pierson Ranch, visitors can take advantage of a wide variety of recreation opportunities.

Cow Creek Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/cow-creek

Water-lovers enjoy fishing, boating, or just watching the waves at Cow Creek. Both primitive shoreline camping and campground camping are available. The shoreline sites offer outstanding views of Oahe Resevoir while providing a great deal of privacy. Campsites in the campground have easy access to drinking water and restrooms/showers.

Custer State Park

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/custer/

The clear mountain waters are inviting, and the open ranges are waiting to be discovered. Bring your family to Custer State Park, and let yourself run wild.

Farm Island Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/farm-island

Located east of Pierre, Farm Island attracts all types of visitors - campers, swimmers, hikers, anglers, bird watchers and bicyclists. With easy access to Lake Sharpe and popular beaches and trails, this park stays busy throughout the year. Additionally, the park has ties to the Lewis and Clark expedition, which is detailed in the Lewis and Clark family center.

Fisher Grove State Park

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/fisher-grove

The first crossing for the Watertown-to-Pierre stage line crossed the river here on American Indians' traditional rock river crossing. Belchers Ford, as the site was called, had a hotel for tourists. The park is named after Frank I. Fisher, the first permanent European settler in Spink County who lived at this site. A restored country school at the park reminds visitors of earlier times.

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/fort-sisseton/

Named after the nearby Sisseton Indian Tribe, this historic fort is now a picturesque state park that unfolds the area's past. Walk the grounds where the officers' quarters, stone barracks, powder magazine, guard house, and other buildings that remain from time of the western frontier.

George S. Mickelson Trail

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/mickelson-trail/

Imagine a path where the ghosts of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane still roam; where bicyclists, hikers and horseback riders can explore spruce and ponderosa pine forests; and the very young, the very old and people of all abilities can enjoy.

Hartford Beach State Park

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/hartford-beach

Runoff from melting glaciers 10,000 years ago created the river Warren. A section of the river is known today as Big Stone Lake. Rugged rock-strewn bluffs and scenic timbered shorelines surround Hartford Beach.

Indian Creek Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/indian-creek

The rolling hills and beautiful river views make Indian Creek an excellent place to camp, picnic and explore. Park visitors will find new adventure in this rugged land explored by Lewis and Clark in 1804. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, cowboys used the area to fatten thousands of cattle for shipment south.

LaFramboise Island Nature Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/laframboise

LaFramboise Island Nature Area is a unique area along the Missouri River. The island is covered in trees and meadows, which are home to a variety of wildlife and bird species. Additionally, the island is mentioned in the Lewis and Clark journals as they passed through the area in 1804.

Lake Alvin Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/lake-alvin

Although small in size, Lake Alvin has become a very popular area. This 59 acre park is best known for its beach facilities and excellent fishing. Its proximity to Sioux Falls and Newton Hills State Park make it a great place to enjoy a day on the beach.

Lake Cochrane Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/lake-cochrane

Nestled between Lake Cochrane and Lake Oliver is an 88-acre playground for campers, anglers, boaters and those who simply enjoy the outdoors. Both the quality of the park and the clear, spring-fed lake bring people to this area. Lake Cochrane was named for the area's first homesteader, Byron J. Cochrane, who settled on the south side of the lake in 1872. The area's rich farmlands and attractive setting soon attracted other homesteaders.

Lake Herman State Park

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/lake-herman

Melting glacial ice formed this 1,350-acre lake thousands of years ago. Lake Herman State Park is located on a peninsula and offers visitors spectacular views of Lake Herman. Camping, boating, fishing, and cross country skiing are favorite activities at the park. Observe wildlife in the native oak woodlands and prairie grasses that inhabitat a variety of birds and animals.

Lake Hiddenwood Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/lake-hiddenwood

Melting glaciers carved the valley of Hiddenwood Creek. Traditionally, this area was home for several American Indian tribes. Early explorers crossed this area on their way between Big Stone Lake and the Rocky Mountains. The first European settlers named the area because no trees were visible on the vast prairie until they reached the crest of the hills overlooking the valley. In 1927, the Department of Game and Fish used a new technique called an earthen dam to make Lake Hiddenwood, one of the first artificial lakes in South Dakota.

Lake Louise Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/lake-louise

Lake Louise was made in 1932, when the south fork of Wolf Creek was dammed. Water depth in this 164-acre impoundment averages nine feet, with a maximum depth of 25 feet. Anglers and hunters come to this area for its abundant game. The park is located in the heart of pheasant and duck country.

Lake Poinsett Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/lake-poinsett

One of the largest lakes in the state, Lake Poinsett was named after Joel Poinsett who served as U.S. Secretary of War. He was instrumental in promoting the expedition of Joseph Nicollet and John Fremont who first explored the region in 1838. The party camped on the north side of Lake Poinsett. Today, the lakeshore still provides excellent camping opportunities, as well as many other recreational activities.

Lake Thompson Recreation Area

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/lake-thompson

Originally called Dry Woods Lake by American Indians, the lake was renamed for Jacob Thompson, Secretary of the Interior under President James Buchanan. In the 1930s, the lake was completely dry and used for pasture. In the 1980s, the area was a 9,000-acre marsh. Heavy rains and snowmelt in the mid-80s filled the lake to over 20 feet deep. The lake is so distinct it was designated as a National Natural Landmark.
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