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:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wetlands Clean-Up in Sioux Falls: June 2013

The South Dakota Canoe/Kayak Association has taken on the responsibility of cleaning up the wetlands at the canoe launching point along the Big Sioux River near the intersection of 26th Street and Southeastern Drive in Sioux Falls.  This means that at least twice a year SDCKA members gather to collect trash throughout this area for removal by the city.
 This evening six of us met in the parking lot at the launch site for our clean-up of the area.  We did a very thorough job last fall, and there was considerably less trash for us to gather this time.
 We roamed through the bush and tall grass and along the riverbank with our plastic bags and “grabbers” or pointed sticks. 
While we were there a kayak and canoe arrived from upstream around 57th Street and reported little debris in the stream, although they also said that one of the boats got hung up on the rocks but did not tip over in the rapids under the bridge over the bicycle trail.
So, this evening was one of the several public services performed by the SDCKA each year: the paddling fair, river clean-up, the wetlands clean-up, and water sampling from area lakes and streams.  
It was also a time to laugh it up with paddling companions and plan new trips for the coming days. 

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