Water Sports | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

Water Sports

Play in pristine water

In the Black Hills of South Dakota water sports are an important element of enjoying the outdoors. Pretty mountain lakes provide boat launching, power boating, water skiing, sailing, paddleboats, canoeing, wind-surfing, swimming and scuba diving.

All Black Hills lakes, 18 of them, are actually manmade reservoirs, and some of them create exquisitely picturesque settings. There are 800 miles of sparkling streams, but there are no whitewater rivers for rafting. Only Rapid Creek has some small rapids for kayakers and canoeists.

Some unique opportunities for water fun: Floating down Rapid Creek in an inner tube. Scuba diving down to discover abandoned buildings of Pactola, where the lake covers an old settlement. Exploring the warm mineral springs that rise on the southern flank of the Hills.

Hydrobikes and rowboats can be rented at some of the lakes in Custer State Park. You can also rent paddleboats at Legion Lake, Sylvan Lake and Canyon Lake which your family will enjoy.

There are developed camp and picnic sites as well as resorts, and marina facilities and rentals are available at Pactola, Sheridan and Angostura. All Black Hills lakes are public, so you'll find public swimming beaches, picnic areas, campgrounds and nature trails at most of them.

Read More About Water Sports