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:

Friday, January 04, 2008

SDCA Winter Conference


The South Dakota Canoe Association will hold its annual winter conference on Saturday, January 26, 2008, from 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m. at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls. The Outdoor Campus is located at 4500 S. Oxbow Ave., east of Louise and just south of 49th Street at the intersection of S. Oxbow and 49th Street.

The conference program of presentations is as follows:

12:00 Opening Remarks
Gene Preston, President SDCA
12:05 – 12:30 Exploring Waterways in Southeastern South Dakota
Jay Heath
12:35 – 1:00 An Arctic Adventure by Canoe
Dick Davidson
1:05 – 1:30 Kayak Fishing
Paul and Adam Livermore
1:35 – 2:00 Boat Building
Rick Johns
2:05– 2:30 Navigation Hazards on Area Waterways
Gary Harpster and Gene Preston
2:35 – 3:00 Business Meeting
Gene Preston
Election of Officers and a Look at Waters Ahead

The conference is free of charge to the public. This is an opportunity for paddlers to network and share experiences. It is also a time for those considering an entry into kayaking or canoeing to learn more about paddling possibilities. There will be an opportunity to join the Association or renew membership at the conference.


I hope to see many of the blog readers at the SDCA Conference on July 26. As I look out my kitchen window, I can see my "beater" kayak covered with snow just waiting for the right moment to get out on area waterways in March or April. One kayak is crowding the cars in the garage, another is in the shed, and this one is braving the elements while the countdown to spring takes place. At the conference, we have the chance to talk kayaking and laugh it up with others sharing our hobby. Many of us will learn of new opportunities for paddling and broaden our personal network of fellow paddlers. It is also a good mid-winter vicarious escape from all the ice and snow surrounding us.

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