State Parks

Photo © SD Tourism

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

/userdocs/Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

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 the time of the western frontier.

This 1864 fort, atop the Coteau des Prairies (or hills of the praries), was originally a frontier army outpost called Fort Wadsworth.  The site was chosen because it provided a strong natural defense, an ample supply of lime and clay for making bricks, an abundance of lake water for drinking and a thick stand of trees for timber and fuel.

Visitor Center with interpretive displays and gift shop is open daily from Open House Weekend through September. Guided tours are available, please call ahead.

Join the festivities for entertainment, culture and history during the annual Fort Sisseton Historical Festival.  The festival features period entertainment and activities and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Group Facilities/Event Rentals

Choose Fort Sisseton Historic State Park for your next gathering - let the restored buildings and spacious grounds of the late 19th-century frontier fort be the setting for your event. With rental facilities, overnight accommodations and a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, it will be an event you'll never forget.

Facilities at the fort can accommodate everything from small meetings to large elegant weddings. Others have selected the fort to host their reunions, birthday parties, anniversaries, business retreats and other special gatherings.

Overnight accommodations, including campsites and cabins, are available on the fort grounds. Several resorts are also located in the area.

Group Activities

Fort Sisseton offers a wide array of historical and recreational fun. Activities are scheduled regularly and can be tailored specifically to your group's needs.

  • Fort tours
  • Visitor Center and historic buildings with interpretive exhibits
  • Gift shop
  • 17-foot canoes with life jackets and paddles.
  • Snowshoeing (for both children and adults)
  • Outdoor recreational equipment: croquet, bocce, volleyball, badminton, and lawn toss
  • Hiking

South Barracks

 

Built in 1864-65 by civilian artisans and soldiers, this beautiful split fieldstone and mortar building is ideal for weddings, receptions, reunions and meetings. Many amenities have been added, granting the use of modern conveniences without disrupting the historic atmosphere .Reservattions are required. 

Cost: $300 Friday, Saturday, Sunday (weekend rental)
Building dimensions: 182 x 41 feet
Floor Plan

Features:

  • Men's and women's restrooms
  • Handicapped accessibility
  • Padded blue chairs for seating up to 400
  • 40 eight-foot tables (white/grey)
  • Garage door-sized opening
  • Smoke-free
  • Catering Kitchen with:
    • Kitchen sink
    • Refrigertor/Freezer
    • Four-burner electric stove with oven
    • Serving window
    • 12 sets of 120 volt, 20 amp outlets on seperate circuits
    • Not included: cooking utensils, dishware, wilverware, dish cloths or extention cords

Picnic shelter with Kitchenette

The kitchenette shelter at Fort Sisseton is the perfect way to cater your own gathering.

Features:

  • Kitchen sink
  • Refrigerator with freezer
  • Four burner electric stove with oven
  • Microwave oven
  • Serving window
  • Five sets of 120 volt, 20 amp outlets on two circuits
  • Water hydrant
  • Pedestal-style fire grill
  • Handicapped accessibility
  • Vault toilets near shelter

Event Tent

The event tent protects your outdoor gathering from the elements, while allowing you to enjoy the fresh air and scenery. Reservations are required

Cost: $150 per day (2 day minimum)

Features:

  • 40 feet wide and variable lengths (40, 60, 80 up to 100 feet)
  • Includes set up on the park grounds by park staff
  • 40 wooden benches available (each seat four people) for an additional fee

Rules and Regulations

  • Facility users are responsible for their own catering.
  • Vehicles entering parks designated as fee areas need to have a valid park entrance license. Discount special event park entrance licenses (in increments of 50) may be available for groups.
  • Facility users may bring their own decorations to enhance the setting.
  • Facility users responsible for basic cleaning after event.
  • Fees for group rentals are required to be paid in advance.
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Fort Sisseton Historical Festival

During the first full weekend in June, cavalry troops and infantry units converge on the fort's grounds to form a military encampment complete with soldiers, women and children, and all the necessary tents, uniforms, horses, and memorabilia. The military is joined by fur traders and other participants of the Rendezvous - muzzleloaders, riflemen and crack-shots from eight states meet amidst a teepee encampment with dozens of lodges and traders.

The festival covers the whole gamut of frontier life and settlement. It includes fiddle music, historic figures, an art and craft show, melodrama stage show, songs and music from the Civil War, period dance instruction classes, and a military costume ball. Colorful costumes, tall tales and unique system of bartering will bring history to life.

The annual 3-day event draws more than 15,000 visitors and 200 camping units. Our local supporters have "accused" us of doubling the population of rural South Dakota.

Admission is $5 per person (12 and over).

Camping

Stay on the grounds during the Festival and experience the night like our forefathers once did - sleep comfortably under the stars and enjoy the sounds of the great outdoors.

  • $25 per unit per night (includes daily admission)
  • Use the South Gate for both camping and general admission

Reservations are available for public camping (located near south entrance).

  • Reservations open at 7 a.m. 90 days prior to arrival campsd.com or 1.800.710.2267
  • Campsites will be assigned upon arrival
  • Making reservations will reduce check-in time. Please remember your confirmation letter.

Vendor Information

Food Vendor Application
Rendezvous Application
Rendezvous Vendor Map
 

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Camping Cabins

Fort Sisseton has three rustic-style cabins that each sleep six people available for reservations at campsd.com

Features:

  • Electricity
  • Heat and air conditioning
  • Two bunk beds per cabin: double bed on bottom and single bed on top
  • Picnic table
  • Fire grate
  • 1 cabin is handicap accessible

Community kitchen featuring:

  • Electricity
  • Hot and cold running water, seasonal
  • Kitchen sink
  • Refrigerator with freezer
  • Four-burner electric stove with oven
  • Microwave oven
  • Table and three chairs
  • Washer and dryer

Available nearby:

  • Showers (accessible) and flush toilets, seasonal
  • Vault toilets
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Read More About This Park

Activities

  • Birdwatching
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Hiking
  • Historical interest
  • Horseshoes
  • Snowshoeing
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Upcoming Events

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Fees

  • Daily: $6 per vehicle
  • Annual: $30 first vehicle | $15 for second vehicle | $65 transferable license
  • Campsites - electrical: $21 per night
  • Campsites - non-electrical: $17 per night
  • Cabins: $45 per night
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Park Specs

Open: May 15-August 31 Monday-Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. September Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. October-May 14 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m.

Park Size: 14 campsites and 3 cabins (each sleeps 6 people)

Directions:

10 miles southwest of Lake City off US Highway 10

Nearest Town: Eden: 8 miles Lake City: 10 miles

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Make Reservations

Make reservation online or call 1.800.710.2267.

Contact Info

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park
11907 434th Avenue
Lake City, SD 57247
605.448.5474
Email: FortSisseton@state.sd.us
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Amenities

  • Boat Ramp
  • Campground
  • Camping cabins
  • Canoe/kayak rentals
  • Drinking water
  • Electric campsites
  • Event tent rentals
  • Flush toilets/showers
  • Game checkout
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Snowshoe checkout
  • Visitor Center
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Park Rating


Visitor Center

Visitor Center with interpretive displays and gift shop is open daily from Open House weekend through September.  Guided tours are available, please call ahead.

Hours

May 15-August 31

Monday-Sunday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Daily Guided Tours: 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4 p.m.

September

Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

October - May 14

Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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Fort Sisseton Commission

February 15

Agenda

Click here for previous meetings.

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ADA / Accessible

  • Hiking Trails
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Visitor Center
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GPS Coordinates

GPS Coordinates
Latitude: 45.6594
Longitude: -97.52827
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