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, January 20, 2013

The 2013 SDCKA Annual Conference

The Annual South Dakota Canoe//Kayak Conference will be held at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls Saturday, January 26, from noon until 4:00 p.m.  The conference as described on the club blog posting is as follows:

“The club's yearly meeting to talk all things kayaks and canoes is set for noon-4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls. It's free and we encourage you to bring a friend.”

“Feel free to bring as many friends as you like, stay for a while or for the whole day! We'll also have reps from National Parks Service, the South Dakota Kayak Challenge, the Missouri River Institute and a local shooting club, too.”

“The agenda for the meeting is as follows:
Noon:    President's welcome
12:05     Dick B. on Blood Run 
12:20     Brandon Gust from GFP on water laws and rights
12:45     Nancy G. on going to the Apostle Islands
1:10       Pat W. and others on Big Water in S.D.
1:30       Board Meeting with election of officers
1:45       Break
2:10       Capt. Ruml from Sioux Falls Fire & Rescue on safety
2:35       Justin and Kelly from Black Hills Paddlers on its new guide to West River paddling
3:00       Mary, Dave and Gene on contrasting canoeing and kayaking 
3:30      Anna and Ryan Beasley on taking the South Dakota Kayak Challenge
3:50      Closing remarks/water's ahead”

I will be at the conference, and I am looking forward to chatting with old paddling friends as well as new folks who are exploring possibilities offered by the SKCKA.  This is the only conference-type gathering of the paddling community during the year.  Other events generally center on cruises.  This is the time to meet people who might well be your paddling companions during the paddling season ahead.

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