This blog is designed to highlight the paddling opportunities within South Dakota, mainly within a 50-mile radius of Sioux Falls. While Sioux Falls is far from the adventure of coastal regions, there is a certain satisfaction in utilizing the available waterways to observe weather, water conditions, and the landscape along the shoreline. In addition, there is a wealth of animal life on the waters of small South Dakota lakes, rivers, and creeks, including geese, ducks, pelicans, great blue heron, egrets, hawks, owls, perching birds, deer, raccoons, and beaver. Eagles, fox, and coyote are also sometimes spotted.

The sites described are places where I have kayaked over the past few years, mostly in South Dakota but sometimes including locations in Iowa and Minnesota. One of the best sources of information on the accessibility of small lakes is the South Dakota Atlas and Gazetteer, the large map book of South Dakota. Lakes with a public access are generally identified by a boat symbol marking the location of a launching site on public land.

You will notice the menu of paddling locations on the right side of the blog. Each of the postings is linked to one of the areas, and my intention is to provide a continuing review of the places where I paddle. Perhaps these narratives will help readers select waterways of interest to them. Please feel free to offer a comment regarding any of my postings; I would welcome the dialog.

I also maintain a companion blog that describes hiking opportunities within the Sioux Falls area. You can access that blog at:

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Big Sioux River Cruise Planned for Saturday, July 14


Big Sioux River Cruise: Lake Alvin to the Klondike: July 14, 2007

I have received the following information from Jarett Bies of the SDCA regarding a great cruise planned for July 14. I plan to be on this cruise, and it marks another segment south on the Big Sioux River for me. Jarett and I did the Big Sioux Recreation Area to Lake Alvin segment a couple of weeks ago. I look forward to seeing several of you on the river on July 14.

The South Dakota Canoe and Kayak Association will host a paddling outing starting at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, on the Big Sioux River.

The event will begin at the river access located on 272nd Street (SD) below the Big Sioux River bridge. The highway there (272nd St.) becomes 140th St. in Iowa when it crosses the river. This bridge is the closest one to Lake Alvin Recreation Area, about 12 miles south of Sioux Falls on 480th Avenue. Heading south from Sioux Falls, this road is also called Grandview County Road and is off to the left just before arriving at the Lake Alvin Recreation Area. There is a steep gravel road running down to the bridge area on the South Dakota side of the river. This is a SD GFP access point, and no park sticker is required.


Paddlers will feast on scenery along the route as the river rolls into Iowa to the east, then bends back to intersect 276th St. (SD), also known as the "Klondike" road. The trip will end there. This road becomes 180th St. in Iowa, similar to the way the road has two names at the northern bridge.

The SDCA will host the 3-4 hour trip and members will provide shuttle service as necessary. The event is free and personal flotation devices are required. Call 941-4940 or 605-764-5654 for information.


The cruise will be hosted by Larry Braaten of Canton. He was featured in a story about canoeing in the Sioux Falls area written by Jarett Bies of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. If you have that story, you can see him pictured in his kayak at the top of the page: "On the Water" in the Monday, July 2, 2007 edition.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for organizing this event. I look forward to it!

Also - I'm participating in the Mississippi River Challenge Aug. 4 & 5 if anyone is interested in paddling with me.

You can find out more information by visiting their website:


Pat Wellner said...

wow, I never new this group existed. I have been looking for others to paddle with. I am not sure if I can make July 14th, but I will definitely check back here for future events.