State Parks

Photo © SD Tourism

Lake Poinsett Recreation Area

/userdocs/Lake Poinsett Recreation Area

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.

The Lake Poinsett Visitor Center and Museum is a fascinating place to learn about the history of the area. During the summer, neighbor Harlan Olson's artifacts are on display. The exhibits will take you back in time from prehistoric days to the late 1990s.

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Activities

  • Biking (on park roads)
  • Birdwatching
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Cross-country Skiing
  • Disc Golf
  • Disc Golf Checkout
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Pole Checkout
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking
  • Horseshoe Checkout
  • Horseshoes
  • Kayaking
  • Lawn Game Checkout
  • Life Jacket Checkout
  • Museum/Visitor Center
  • Paddleboarding
  • Picnicking
  • Snowmobiling
  • Snowshoe Checkout
  • Snowshoeing
  • Swimming
  • Volleyball
  • Volleyball Checkout
  • Walking (on park roads)
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Fees

  • Daily: $8 per vehicle
  • Annual: $36 first vehicle | $18 for second vehicle | $80 transferable license
  • Campsites - electrical: $26 per night
  • Campsites - non-electrical: $22 per night
  • Camping Cabins: $55 per night
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Park Specs

Open: Year-round. Between Oct. 1 and April 30, showers, flush toilets and other water systems may be closed. Please contact the park directly for current status. Vault toilets usually remain open.

Park Size: 2 campgrounds with 114 campsites and 4 camping cabins

Directions: 14 miles northeast of Arlington off US Hwy 81

Nearest Town: Arlington

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Make Reservations

Make reservation online or call 1.800.710.2267.

Contact Info

Lake Poinsett Recreation Area
45617 South Poinsett Recreation Area
Arlington, SD 57212
605.983.5085
Email: LakePoinsett@state.sd.us
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Amenities

  • ADA/Accessible Features
  • Boat Ramp(s)
  • Campground(s)
  • Camping Cabin(s)
  • Drinking Water
  • Dump Station
  • Electrical Campsite(s)
  • Fish Cleaning Station(s)
  • Flush Toilets
  • Group Picnic Shelter(s)
  • Hiking Trail(s)
  • Picnic Tables
  • Playground(s)
  • Self-serve Entrance Kiosk(s)
  • Shore Fishing Access
  • Showers
  • Swim Beach(es)
  • Tent-only Campsite(s)
  • TRACK Trail(s)
  • Vault Toilets (open year-round)
  • Visitor Center(s)
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Park Rating


Museum

The Lake Poinsett Visitor Center and Museum is a fascinating place to learn about the history of the area. During the summer, neighbor Harlan Olson's artifacts are on display. The exhibits will take you back in time from prehistoric days to the late 1990s.

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ADA / Accessible

  • Camping Cabin(s)
  • Campsite(s)
  • Flush Toilets
  • Group Picnic Shelter(s)
  • Picnic Tables
  • Playground(s)
  • Showers
  • Visitor Center(s)
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GPS Coordinates

Latitude: 44.53418
Longitude: -97.08395
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