Lake Herman State Park 

Quick Facts

Lake Herman State Park 

South Dakota

(605) 256-5003

Map Directions

Things To Do


Located on a peninsula, Lake Herman State Park offers visitors spectacular views of Lake Herman and opportunities for camping, boating, fishing, and cross-country skiing. Melting glacial ice formed this 1,350-acre lake thousands of years ago. Wildlife observation is aided by the native oak woodlands and prairie grasses that blend to create a lush savanna in the natural areas of the park. Most of the trees are native, while others were planted to provide convenient camping and hiking areas, as well as provide habitat for the variety of birds and animals that live in the park.

Lake Herman State Park is sure to have something for everyone. Those staying overnight can chose among 70 electrical campsites, two tent-only sites and two camping cabins. Visitors to the park for the day can play disc golf, hike, cross-country ski, canoe, play horseshoes or immerse themselves in the history of the area. An accessible campsite and fishing dock allow everyone to enjoy what Lake Herman has to offer.

Map of Lake Herman   (SD)

Latitude, Longitude: 43.987627, -97.165661



  • Boating

    There are canoe and kayak rentals, and there is a boat ramp.

  • Camping

    There are 72 campsites and two cabins, each of which sleeps four people.

  • Fishing

    There is an accessible fishing dock. With a license, fishers can catch walleye, perch, crapple, and bullhead.

  • Hiking

    The park has three hiking trails: the Luce Adventure Trail, the Abbott Trail, and the Pioneer Nature Trail. The Luce Adventure Trail takes hikers through a diverse group of natural resources. Interpretive signs along the way that describe the forests, fossils, birds, glacial lakes, wildflowers, wetlands, tall grass prairie, and the historic cabin. The Pioneer Nature Trail is a link from the park entrance to the trailhead gazebo. It passes through the tall grass prairie, near wetlands, and through an old campground area that is heavily shaded.

  • Historic Sites

    Lake Herman has been a popular campsite for hundreds of years. Before white settlers entered the region, it was popular among American Indians traveling to nearby Pipestone quarries.

    The first white settlers at Lake Herman were Herman Luce and his son, William. They settled the timberland on the east side of the lake and assumed squatters' rights on June 17, 1870. The log cabin in the park was built for Herman Luce in the summer of 1871. The cabin is made of sturdy oak logs hand hewn to fit snugly and chinked to keep out the cold. Luce's cabin briefly served as a U. S. Land Office, with Herman Luce in charge. In 1977, the Herman Luce Cabin was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Picnicking

    There are picnic shelters and a playground.

  • RVing

    RVs are welcome in the campground.

  • Water Sports

    There is a ski beach and a swimming beach, which does not have a lifeguard.

  • Winter Sports

    Cross-country skiers are welcome on all three of the park's trails: the Luce Adventure Trail, the Abbott Trail, and the Pioneer Nature Trail.


The park offers activities for both the summer (swimming and boating) and winter (cross-country skiing), as well as spring and fall.



Located two miles west of Madison off SD Highway 34.

Phone Numbers


(605) 256-5003

Campground reservations

(800) 710-2267