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:

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Following Along on a Transantarctic Ski Trek

One of the adventure blogs that I am following daily is called Kaspersky ONE Transantarctic Expedition. Felicity Aston, a 33-year old female explorer from the UK, is in the process of skiing across Antarctica on a 1700 km, 70 day, expedition that includes passing through the South Pole. Her blog includes an interactive map, which can be activated to follow her daily progress. She provides daily tweets and periodic audio up-dates. Today is Day 10 of the trek, and she has provided three audio clips describing her situation and the landscape. You can join me in following along on her trek at the following URL:

It seems that I need to be a vicarious participant on some adventure like this. Now that the two women from St. Olaf College have completed their trip from the Twin Cities to Hudson Bay and Roz Savage has completed her rowing adventure across the Indian Ocean, this is an adventure that I will continue following for the next couple of months - the Antarctic summer.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

New Hiking Sioux Falls Blog Developed

Even though we don’t yet have any snow on the ground here in Sioux Falls, ice has formed on the area lakes and rivers. For me, the kayaking season has closed for 2011. I have taken the rack off the car and put all my kayak gear up in the attic above the garage. It will be about four months before water is open in this part of the state again.

Kayaking is just one of my outdoor activities. I actually spend much more time hiking in the large parks and nature areas around Sioux Falls than I do in the kayak. Also, when the bike trail is open, I try to circle the city on the 20-mile bike trail at least once a week.

The city of Sioux Falls operates about 75 parks, some of which offer great hiking opportunities. In addition, the state manages several nature or recreational areas that provide just wonderful pathways through the woods and along rivers and streams. Many of these hiking possibilities are relatively unknown by most people, and I have long thought about developing another blog to describe the parks and nature/recreational areas that are in or near the city.

So, the new blog is ready, and I intend for it to be a companion to my kayaking blog. I have used the same format and offer photographs and narrative remarks about these hiking opportunities. I intend for this blog, much like my kayaking blog, to be an annotated inventory of hiking possibilities in and around Sioux Falls. Over the months, I will continually add fresh content. Hiking observations will include repeat visits to capture changes with the seasons.

You can access this new blog at the following URL: