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:

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ingenious Exit from Remote River

4293250596_158dcfeda7_b.jpg(Photo by Jarett Bies)
My pal, Jarett Bies, took a three-day self-contained decent of the Cheyenne River in western South Dakota this past spring with a couple of friends. They decided to take out of the river along a bridge that lacked easy access to vehicles and used an ingenious method to hoist out their kayaks. This type of improvisation is characteristic of Jarett’s adventures on area waterways. He recounted this cruise during a presentation at the SDCA winter conference in Sioux Falls in January.
(Photo by Jarett Bies)
For those of you would like to check out the full story of that Cheyenne River cruise, you will find a full illustrated story in three segments on Jarett’s blog for May 21-27, 2009 at