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, August 15, 2007

Split Rock Cruise - September 29, 2007



Come and join us for a Fall Canoe Cruise from McHardy Park, in Brandon, to the Highway 38/42 bridge at historic East Sioux Falls (The Arboretum) on Saturday, September 29, 2007.

Meet at 1:00 P.M. at McHardy Park in Brandon. This route has short stretches of flat water with gentle class 1 rapids. A pole is useful on Split Rock Creek when the water is low such as last year. Deer, fish, muskrat, ducks, owls and other wildlife may be seen. The cruise takes about 3 to 4 hours depending on the water conditions and the skill and goals of the paddlers. Bring a camera, snacks, and some drinking water and enjoy an afternoon on the water. I always plan an alternate route in case the water on Split Rock Creek is low. The takeout may be altered depending on conditions. It has been real good this spring from Corson south. For more information contact Eugene Preston 605/582-2573.

Eugene Preston, President of the SDCA

I went on this cruise last year, and it was a great experience for all of us. I described the event on the blog, and you can find my remarks under the Split Rock Creek link – October 14, 2006. Every time I drive to Brandon I look out to the right off Highway 11 and think back to that cruise. It is a little gem of a waterway, and Eugene Preston, the president of the SDCA, does a great job of organizing and leading the event. I intend to be on the cruise again this year.


The SDCA sponsors several cruises each season, and these are highlighted in the club newsletter. Joining the SDCA is a pretty good way to keep alert to paddling and fellowship activities associated with canoe and kayak activity. The price is right: $10.00 a year for an individual membership. For those who would like to initiate a membership, just send your information (Name, Address, Phone, e-mail, experience, hobbies/interests) and a check to: Director of Membership, SDCA, P.O. Box 90227, Sioux Falls, SD 57109-0227.

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