State Parks

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Pelican Lake Recreation Area

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Naturalists enjoy the migrating birds and vast numbers of prairie grasses and wildflowers at Pelican Lake Recreation Area. Winter enthusiasts appreciate the park's cross-country ski trails, snowshoeing and ice fishing.

Pelican Lake is a popular stopping point for migrating waterfowl. Each fall, geese and ducks use the lake's open waters as a resting area. A variety of shore birds spend their entire summer in or near the park.

Most noticeable are the large white pelicans that frequent the lake. Pelicans were so numerous when the region was first settled that the lake was named in their honor. An observation tower on one of the hiking trails gives visitors a bird's-eye view of the area.

NFAA approved 14-station course plus practice facility. Stations range in distance from 20 feet to 80 yards.

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  • Archery range
  • Basketball
  • Biking
  • Birdwatching
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Cross country skiing
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Horseshoes
  • Snowshoeing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
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  • Daily: $8 per vehicle
  • Annual: $36 first vehicle | $18 for second vehicle | $80 transferable license
  • Campsites - electrical: $26 per night
  • 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: 76 campsites, 2 cabins (each sleeps 4 people) and 6 horse camp sites


9 miles SW of Watertown off US Hwy 212

Nearest Town: Watertown

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Make Reservations

Make reservation online or call 1.800.710.2267.

Contact Info

Pelican Lake Recreation Area
17450 450th Avenue
Watertown, SD 57201
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  • Beach
  • Boat Ramp
  • Campground
  • Camping cabins
  • Canoe/kayak rentals
  • Drinking water
  • Dump station
  • Electric campsites
  • Fishing pole checkout
  • Flush toilets/showers
  • Game checkout
  • Horse camp
  • Picnic Shelter
  • Playground
  • Snowshoe checkout
  • Vault toilets
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Park Rating

Archery Range

NFAA approved 14-station with practice facility. Stations range in distance from 20 feet to 80 yards

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ADA / Accessible

  • Camping Cabins
  • Camping Site
  • Picnic Shelter
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GPS Coordinates

Latitude: 44.85222
Longitude: -97.20845
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