Lewis and Clark Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Lewis and Clark Recreation Area

South Dakota

(605) 668-2985

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Lewis and Clark Lake is one of the state park system's most popular resort parks, offering beaches, trails, and campgrounds. Three separate units comprise this modern recreation area, attracting visitors from throughout the Midwest. Modern resort facilities, from marinas to camping cabins to sandy beaches, attract water lovers to Lewis and Clark. Miles of sandy beaches are available for visitors. Hiking trails and horse camp and riding trails are also available for those who wish to explore the undeveloped portions of the park. There are eight equestrian campsites, a fish cleaning station, archery range and a nature trail. The park has access to a 6.2-mile scenic trail that follows the shoreline of Lewis and Clark Lake. There are two other trails, which provide scenic views of the lake, woodlands and meadows, and bluffs, as well as opportunities to look for wildlife, including hawks, cliff swallows, deer, and wild turkeys. Horseback riders can use one of the trails.

Map of Lewis & Clark Rec. Area (SD)

Latitude, Longitude: 42.832171, -97.549667

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Activities

  • Boating

    There is a marina and a boat ramp. The Lewis and Clark Resort & Marina offers boat rentals and a floating fuel dock.

  • Bicycling

    The most popular trail at Lewis and Clark is the 6.2-mile scenic bike trail that winds around all campground areas of the park and continues an additional 4 miles into the City of Yankton. This popular paved trail is open to various park users including bicyclists, joggers, walkers, rollerskaters, rollerbladers and anyone looking for a relaxing place to enjoy the beauty of Lewis and Clark Lake. The trail starts at the Pierson Ranch Recreation Area and follows the shoreline of picturesque Lewis & Clark Lake to the western end of the Gavin's Point campground, then continues around the northern boundary of the camping areas for a different route on the return trip.

    The Chalk Bluffs Trail, which covers 4.1 miles of slopes on the bluffs and hills at the western end of the park is open to mountain biking.

  • Camping

    There are three campgrounds with a total of 375 campsites and fifteen cabins, each of which sleeps four people.

  • Fishing

    There is an accessible fishing dock and fish cleaning station.

  • Hiking

    The park has three hiking trails: the Bicycle/Pedestrian Trail, the Chalk Bluffs Trail, and Gavin's Point Nature Trail. The 6.2-mile scenic bike trail is a good place for anyone looking for a relaxing place to enjoy the beauty of Lewis and Clark Lake. The trail starts at the Pierson Ranch Recreation Area and follows the shoreline of picturesque Lewis & Clark Lake to the western end of the Gavin's Point campground, then continues around the northern boundary of the camping areas for a different route on the return trip.

    The Chalk Bluffs Trail, which covers 4.1 miles of slopes on the bluffs and hills at the western end of the park provides a more challenging hiking experience.

    Winding through native woods, across meadows and past scenic overlooks, the 1.2 mile Gavins Point Nature Trail will add interest and enjoyment to a Lewis and Clark Lake visit. An overlook shelter at the top of the trail offers a beautiful view of scenic Lewis and Clark Lake and the chalkrock bluffs in the distance. A sharp-eyed viewer may spy hawks circling in updrafts, and cliff swallows making high-rise homes in the rocky cliffs. This trail acquaints visitors with some plants, wildlife and other natural features of the area. Deer, turkey, rabbits and squirrels are just some of the animals that can be seen along the trail, along with several species of birds. Be sure to pick up a "Bird Checklist" at the Welcome Center.

  • Historic Sites

    The park is close to the Dakota Territorial Capital Replica in Yankton, which served as the capital of the Dakota Territory from 1861-1886. The park has a visitors center.

  • Horseback Riding

    Horseback riders are welcome to use the Chalk Bluffs Trail. There is also a horse campground with eight electrical campsites and corrals.

  • Picnicking

    There are picnic shelters and there is a playground.

  • RVing

    RVs are welcome in the campground.

  • Water Sports

    There is a swimming beach without a lifeguard and a beach for water skiers.

Seasonality/Weather

The park is open year-round, but visitors enjoy the largest range of activities in warmer months.

Park Partners

Directions

Driving

Located 4 miles W of Yankton off SD Hwy 52.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(605) 668-2985

Campground reservations

(800) 710-2267

Links