Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – South Dakota 2021

Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – South Dakota 2021

South Dakota SUP

1: Pactola Lake

Pactola Lake SUP
Pactola Lake is one of the closest and most popular paddleboarding options for both Rapid City and the rest of the state. The 1,232-acre lake features 16 miles of shoreline, much of which you can launch from. If you are looking to rent some gear or hire an instructor, stop by either Silver City on the western side of the lake or the Pactola Mines Marina on the southern tip.

You can get some great sailing and light surfing on the lake, but Pactola Lake is especially popular for its Trout, Cappie, and Bass fishing. If you like catching Salmon, the largest Kokanee Salmon in state history was caught at Pactola Lake. Whatever your preference, there are all sorts of fun water sports you can engage in by paddling at Pactola Lake.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 226
Distance to Major Cities: 30 Minutes to Rapid City
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

2: Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake SUP
While relatively small at just 18 acres, Sylvan Lake is famous for its very close proximity to Mount Rushmore, located only a few miles away. After you’ve seen one of our nation’s most famous monuments, you can enjoy the water and paddleboard through the beautiful Custer State Park.

With an average depth of 12.8’, the tranquil water is deep enough that you can comfortably fall into it or, if you’re daring, climb the many rocks around the small reservoir for a short dive. You’ll make plenty of new friends, and a few new paddleboarding buddies, by visiting Sylvan Lake in South Dakota.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 226
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour to Rapid City
Motor Vehicles Allowed: No
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

3: Deerfield Lake

Deerfield Lake SUP
Deerfield Lake is an excellent option for dedicated paddleboarders, especially touring or racing enthusiasts, as the 435-acre lake has a 5 MPH no-wake rule for the entire body of water. Campgrounds litter much of the lakeside, which you’ll probably want to spend at least a night at because it’s a bit of a journey to reach the lake.

Deerfield Lake is worth taking the time to travel to, as you’ll often find Bison, Pronghorn, Mountain Goats, Bighorn Sheep, and Mountain Lions wandering the shoreline. Rainbow Trout, Splake, and Brook are all popular catches with anglers, though the deep lake depths may mean you’ll be trolling for a while before you can reel one in.

Deerfield Lake typically freezes over in the winter, but it is very relaxing and refreshing to journey to in the summer for paddleboarding adventurers. Just make sure to bring a SUP with you, as you won’t find any vendors nearby with paddleboards available to rent.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 226
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour to Rapid City
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Limited
Paddleboard Rentals Available: No

4: Lake Madison

Lake Madison SUP
If you’re visiting eastern South Dakota near Sioux Falls, you’ll still have a great paddleboarding lake to visit at Lake Madison. While there are several lakes in the area worth visiting, Lake Madison benefits from having a paddleboard rental company and tour guide on its shores. The 2,642 square acre lake has a max depth of just 16’, making it a good option for beginner and younger paddlers.

If you’re going to try your hand at fishing, Bluegill, Pike, Walleye, and Bullhead are a few of the more popular fish to expect to catch while you’re on these waters. With homes and cottages available to rent for the night near the beachline, you can spend multiple days relaxing and enjoying the pretty blue waters of Lake Madison, South Dakota.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 222
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour to Lake Madison
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

5: Missouri River

Missouri River SUP
The longest river in America, the Missouri River cuts right through the heart of the state, though your best bet will be stopping by Pierre for paddling. Pierre has several vendors to get you set up with gear for whatever you want to try, from extended touring trips to navigating white water rapids.

If you paddle a bit more north, you’ll also start paddling on Lake Oahe, which overflows into North Dakota. Pierre also attracts many divers, thanks to the helpful local instructors and various cars, aircraft, and other surprises buried beneath the water. Whether you want to try out touring, whitewater rapids, or diving from a SUP, you’ll get to try it all by paddling the Missouri River near Pierre, South Dakota.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 217
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Pierre
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Limited
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

Conclusion: Plan Your Paddle Board Trip and Have Fun!

Thank you for visiting our top paddleboarding destinations for South Dakota! We hope you’ve enjoyed our list, but because we haven’t visited every place personally, we’d like your help in making it even better. If you’ve been paddleboarding in South Dakota, let us know some of your favorite spots in the state by leaving a comment below or sending us an email with your thoughts.

While you’re here, you can also find our latest paddleboard reviews, instructional guides, and in-depth videos breaking down some of the most popular paddleboards on the market.

Thanks again for visiting SUPBoardGuide.com! Be sure to let us know what you think of paddleboarding in South Dakota!

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Heyo! At SupBoardGuide.com we are a team who love the water, the outdoors, and are more than grateful that our full-time job allows us to review stand up paddle boards. We paddle year round (it helps that we are just about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas), and we bring in a wide range of paddlers with the goal of providing our readers with the best, most in-depth, and accurate stand up paddle board reviews.

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