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, January 24, 2007

Agenda for SDCA Conference Agenda

The agenda for the SDCA Annual Conference has been developed and follows in this post. You can look back to the previous SDCA post for directions to the Outdoor Campus building in Sioux Falls. I will be setting up my Folbot (folding kayak) for display in the lobby. I hope to see many area paddlers on Saturday, January 27.

26th Annual SDCA Conference
Saturday January 27, 2007
The Theater Room at the Outdoor Campus

12:20- Registration Begins: Sign the attendance sheet and pick up a name tag. Become a member and pay your dues at this time. Free SDCA stickers are available and SDCA patches can be purchased. Look at photos of outings and check out displays.

12:40- Area Waterways: Jay Heath shares his experiences paddling interesting and secluded waters with an intimate view of nature. This will be followed with an opportunity to ask questions. Jay also has a web site featuring his experiences on water close to Sioux Falls at

1:25- Modern Home Built Methods: Rick Johns will discuss some principles of several home built methods of construction. He has built or reconstructed skin on frame, and lapstrake canoes.

1:45- Annual Meeting:- Election of new officers with Vice President Alan Braaten presiding. Discussion of the coming year (Canoe/kayak festival, cruising, group activities and coming legislation). This is a chance to speak up, make a proposal, ask questions, and give your comments.

2:15- Short Break:- Take time to meet people and check out displays.

2:30- Sea Kayaking:- Jerett Bies shares experiences paddling a sea kayak on Lake Superior.

2:55- Paddle Craft Material and Design: A discussion led by Eugene Preston with questions and input from anyone with an interest. This is a chance to find out about modern materials and some of their pros and cons.

3:25- Canoeing/Kayaking – camping videos.

3:45- End of the Conference

Friday, January 12, 2007

SDCA Conference

Annual SDCA Conference

January 27, 2007

Each year the South Dakota Canoe Association sponsors an annual conference that brings paddlers together in anticipation of the coming season. The event this year is going to be held on January 27, 2007, at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls. This setting is located at 4500 S. Oxbow Ave., telephone number 605-362-2777. This building is near the intersection of 49th and Louise Ave., a little SE of the Empire Mall, and alongside Sertoma Park. The event begins with registration at 12:20 p.m. The first program is at 12:40, and the conference concludes at 3:45.

This is really the only meeting of the SDCA, and it is a time to get to know some of the paddlers from throughout the state. Other club gatherings are in association with events or cruises. Dues to join the association are only $7.00 per year. Events for the upcoming year are initiated at this meeting, and there is generally interesting talk about past and upcoming cruises. It is a pretty laid back event, and the public is welcome.

I will be putting on a program taken from my blog: “Area Waterways.” There will be other programs as well, and there are usually some unique canoes or kayaks on display.

It will be good to meet people and get primed for spring/summer cruises ahead.