Hartford Beach State Park

Quick Facts

Hartford Beach State Park

South Dakota

(605) 432-6374

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Big Stone Lake provides the setting for this popular camping and picnic area nestled in the shade of a native wooded forest. Along the many hiking trails, visitors can observe wildlife, prairie plants and scenic vistas. Runoff from melting glaciers 10,000 years ago created the Warren River, a section of which is known today as Big Stone Lake. Rugged rock-strewn bluffs and scenic timbered shorelines surround Hartford Beach. The first Europeans came to this area in 1678 when French explorers from Montreal and Quebec came in search of fur-bearing animals. An excellent trading business with area American Indians prompted the English to claim the area. The park has several sites of historical interest: a log cabin trading post, the foundations left over from a traders' cabin, the graves of several pioneers, and American Indian burial mounds. This 331-acre park has a variety of campsites. Fishing is a popular activity and an accessible fishing dock is provided.

Map of Hartford Beach (SD)

Latitude, Longitude: 45.403392, -96.663551

READ MORE

Activities

  • Boating

    There are boat ramps for boating on Big Stone Lake.

  • Bicycling

    The Robar Trail and the Village View Trail are both open to bicycles.

  • Camping

    There are 43 campsites, 36 of which have electric hookups. There are also two cabins, each of which sleeps four people.

  • Fishing

    There is a fishing dock and a fish cleaning station.

  • Hiking

    Five hiking trails take visitors past historic sites and scenic overlooks, including burial mounds and a prehistoric village site. The two most popular trails are the Robar Trail and the Village View Trail. The Robar Trail passes several sites of historical interest, including a log cabin trading post that was operated from 1863-1873, the remains of the traders' cabin, and pioneer graves. There are many different native prairie grasses along the first part of this hike, including western wheatgrass, blue grama, buffalograss and bluestem. The Village View Trail takes visitors to American Indian burial mounds that were used as early as 1700 years ago.

  • Historic Sites

    The park has several sites of historical interest: a log cabin trading post, the foundations left over from a traders' cabin, the graves of several pioneers, and American Indian burial mounds.

  • Picnicking

    There is a picnic shelter and a playground, both located on the shore of Big Stone Lake.

  • RVing

    The campsites are open to RVers.

  • Water Sports

    There is a swimming beach but there is no lifeguard.

  • Winter Sports

    The Robar Trail and the Village View Trail are both open to cross-country skiing.

Seasonality/Weather

This park can be hot and humid in mid-summer, so hikers should protect themselves from heat. The park offers opportunities for cross-country skiing.

Directions

Driving

Located 15 miles N of Milbank off SD Hwy 15

Phone Numbers

Primary

(605) 432-6374

Campground reservations

(800) 710-2267

Links