LaFramboise Island Nature Area

Quick Facts

LaFramboise Island Nature Area

South Dakota

(605) 773-2885

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

LaFramboise Island Nature Area is a unique area along the Missouri River. The island is covered in trees and meadows and home to a variety of wildlife and bird species. Additionally, the island is mentioned in the Lewis and Clark journals as they passed through the area in 1804. They called the island "Bad Humor" island because of a tense encounter nearby with the Teton Sioux. The island's current name is attributed to Joseph LaFramboise. He built Fort LaFramboise at the mouth of the Bad River (west of the island). In later years, parts of the island were farmed. As upstream dams changed the water flow in the Missouri River in the mid-1960s, the tree habitat on this sand bar island has changed to include species such as cedar, ash, and Russian olive. Native cottonwood trees are also part of the island landscape, and once flourished due to the natural flooding of the river.

Map of LaFramboise Island Nature Area (SD)

Latitude, Longitude: 44.361169, -100.362511

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    The LaFramboise Island Trail is open to bicycling.

  • Hiking

    There is a trail through the LaFramboise Island, which is typical of a number of sandbar islands that used to be found along the Missouri River floodplains, but because of the impoundments on the river few of these islands remain today. The vegetation of the island is currently in a state of change. Before the dams were constructed upstream the island would occasionally flood. The inundations saturated the soil and removed some of the mature trees permitting cottonwood seeds to germinate and grow. Since flooding has stopped, cottonwood trees have had little reproduction occurring, while cedar, ash and Russian olive are becoming more prevalent. As the mature cottonwoods die these other tree species will take their place.

    La Framboise Island is an area with an incredible diversity of a bird species and wildlife. Deer and wild turkeys are common sights. The endangered least tern and bald eagle have been seen on the island. Snakes, ticks and poison ivy are also common, so please be careful.

  • Historic Sites

    The island was mentioned in Lewis and Clark's journal. They called it "Bad Humor" island due to a tense encounter with the Teton Sioux held nearby. The island's current name is attributed to Joseph LaFramboise. He built Fort LaFramboise at the mouth of the Bad River (west of the island).

  • Picnicking

    There is a picnic shelter along the Missouri River.

  • Winter Sports

    The LaFramboise Island Trail is open to cross-country skiing.

Seasonality/Weather

Although the area is open year-round, part of the island closes during the winter, spring, and early summer due to bald eagle roosting.

Directions

Driving

Heading east on SD-34 toward Sandwedge Dr in Pierre, turn right at Farm Island.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(605) 773-2885

Links