Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

Quick Facts

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

South Dakota

(605) 448-5474

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

This historic fort is now a picturesque state park that unfolds the area's past. Walk the grounds where the officers' quarters, stone barracks, powder magazine, guard house, and other buildings that remain from time of the western frontier. This 1864 fort, atop the Coteau des Prairies (or hills of the prairies), was originally a frontier army outpost called Fort Wadsworth. The site was chosen because it provided a strong natural defense, an ample supply of lime and clay for making bricks, an abundance of lake water for drinking and a thick stand of trees for timber and fuel.

Regarded as a National Historic Landmark, it has been restored and is now open to the public. Guided tours by fort "soldiers" and others in costume are available. Join the festivities for entertainment, culture and history during the annual Fort Sisseton Historical Festival. The festival features period entertainment and activities and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Map of Fort Sisseton (SD)

Latitude, Longitude: 45.750037, -97.525403

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Activities

  • Boating

    There is a boat ramp and canoe rentals are available.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Contact park regarding auto/motorcycle touring.

  • Camping

    There are fourteen campsites, ten of which are electric, and three rustic camping cabins, each sleeps six people. The cabins require reservations, but the campgrounds are open on a first come, first-served basis from September to May. During the summer, reservations are required for the campsites.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is permitted.

  • Hiking

    The Andrew Jackson Fisk Historic Trail guides visitors through the fort and around a wetland area. It is a quarter-mile long boardwald trail, appropriate for all ages. The trail has 18 interpretive signs with excerpts from Andrew Jackson Fisk's journal written at Fort Sisseton during the winter of 1865. Guided living history interpretive tours are available Memorial Day through Labor Day.

  • Historic Sites

    Fort Sisseton Historic State Park offers school groups an opportunity to explore the 1860s military post. Fort Sisseton provides a glimpse into the American frontier heritage through interpretive tours of the 14 restored original military buildings. Each tour, conducted by costumed staff, illustrates the buildings and grounds in their late 19th century context. Open houses throughout the year offer activities for kids, tours, wagon rides, and demonstrations of blacksmithing, wood stove cooking, weaving, woodworking, and food preservation.

    During some years, there are special events for Independence Day and Christmas.

  • Horseback Riding

    Contact park for more information on horseback riding oppurtunities..

  • Picnicking

    There is a picnic shelter with a kitchenette.

  • Winter Sports

    Snowshoe rentals are available from the visitor center. The trails through the fort are open to snowshoeing and cross-country-skiers in the winter.

Seasonality/Weather

The park is open year-round, although tour availability in winter months may depend on weather conditions. Winter tours are available by appointment. During the winter, the trails are open for winter sports.

Directions

Driving

Located 10 miles SW of Lake City off US Highway 10.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(605) 448-5474

Links