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: http://hikingsiouxfalls.blogspot.com
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Canoe/Kayak Fair at Lake Alvin, Sunday, June 7
The second South Dakota Canoe Association paddling fair of the season will be held at the public access area at Lake Alvin on Sunday, June 7, from 11:00 to 2:00 p.m. The public access area does not require a park sticker, and it is located at the southwestern end of the lake. The easiest access is east off of Highway 11 onto 273rd Street (a paved road) and then north on 479th Ave. (a gravel road). The lake is visible from 273rd Street. If you get to the state recreation area, you have gone too far.
This is an opportunity for people to check out a variety of kayaks or canoes. SDCA members bring their boats and offer to let interested people give them a try in the relatively sheltered waters of this part of the lake. Jarett Bies and Jay Heath will be serving as “beachmasters” to line people up with a boat for a short paddling experience. Club members who come to the event expect that their boats might be used. Experienced and novice paddlers can will find an opportunity to try out a variety of boats. Jarett and Jay, as well as other SDCA members, will be available to provide some initial instruction. As with all SDCA events, life jackets are required for all paddlers taking part in the session.
So, if you have been thinking of trying out a kayak and want to take advantage of this opportunity, come to Lake Alvin on Sunday, June 7. People often come to this sort of event for their first kayak ride. Many experienced paddlers also look forward to this opportunity to check out the variety of boats and take a short paddle in a different style boat. Of course, such an event is also a way to continue building relationships in the South Dakota paddling community.