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, May 28, 2010

Renting a Kayak or Canoe in Sioux Falls

I have frequently been asked about how a person might take a first ride in a kayak or canoe and if it is possible to rent kayaks in the Sioux Falls area. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by someone who has started a kayak and canoe rental company here in Sioux Falls, and I have been impressed with the range of services offered. While I have no first hand knowledge of the company or any information or reports on the quality of the service, what they offer seems just what has been needed here in the Sioux Falls area: kayak and canoe rental, delivery of boats to a location in the area, and personally arranged trips in the area. So, if you have felt the need to try out a boat from a rental company, you might want to check out Zach’s Kayak and Canoe Rental in Sioux Falls. The website is, and the telephone number is 605-929-1122.

Remember also, that the SDCKA is hosting a free canoe/kayak fair at Family Park, the new lake located in western Sioux Falls near the intersection of the Tea/Ellis Road and West 12th Street. The fair will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2010 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. You can check this out at the club website: This is a great opportunity for people to try out a variety of boats. Several people over the past few years have attended this event and then gone out and bought their first kayak. I look forward to the event so that I can try out a variety of boats. Like many kayakers, I have felt that you just can't have too many boats, and I am always looking for the next one.

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