Canoeing and Kayaking
The rivers and lakes in South Dakota give kayakers and canoeists endless opportunities for adventure. The new Mickelsen canoe trail in the eastern part of the state is a new highlight, but that trail is the tip of the paddle.
The newly developed Jay Heath Canoe and Kayak Trail is designed for canoers and kayakers to navigate water trails along the Big Sioux River. The map below includes launch sites and campgrounds as well as general information about each site. The trail map was created as a partnership between South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks and the South Dakota Canoe and Kayak Association.
Safety tips for a fun, safe trip out on the water.
- Do not take canoes or kayaks out in windy and/or stormy conditions.
- Make certain there is at least one adult in the canoe or kayak.
- Make certain that all lifejackets fit properly and are zipped/hooked correctly.
- Do not stand in a canoe or kayak.
- Stay out of the swimming area.
- Stay close to shore, especially when just learning to canoe or kayak.
State Parks that have Canoeing and Kayaking
- Angostura Recreation Area
- Big Sioux Recreation Area
- Big Stone Island Nature Area
- Chief White Crane Recreation Area
- Custer State Park
- Farm Island Recreation Area
- Fisher Grove State Park
- Fort Sisseton Historic State Park
- Hartford Beach State Park
- Indian Creek Recreation Area
- Lake Alvin Recreation Area
- Lake Herman State Park
- Lake Vermillion Recreation Area
- Lewis and Clark Recreation Area
- Mina Lake Recreation Area
- Newton Hills State Park
- North Point Recreation Area
- Oahe Downstream Recreation Area
- Oakwood Lakes State Park
- Palisades State Park
- Pelican Lake Recreation Area
- Pickerel Lake Recreation Area
- Randall Creek Recreation Area
- Richmond Lake Recreation Area
- Rocky Point Recreation Area
- Sandy Shore Recreation Area
- Sheps Canyon Recreation Area
- West Whitlock Recreation Area