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Lake Sheridan is one of the best lakes in South DakotaThere’s no question about it: Nebraska has its share of lakes for enjoying some time on the water. But what about our neighbor to the north? If you and your friends or family have some extended time off this summer, consider visiting our picks for the best lakes in South Dakota.

Sheridan Lake

As part of the famous Black Hills National Forest, Sheridan Lake offers all the amenities you need for an outdoor adventure far from home. Take advantage of the many campgrounds, trailer and RV sites, all within walking distance to the lake’s shore. Visit the Sheridan Lake Marina, where you can rent watersports equipment, wave runners, and boats. Of course, boat owners can take advantage of the 100-plus boat slips available for rental.

Distance: Sheridan Lake is about three and a half hours from Scottsbluff, Nebraska and five and a half hours from North Platte.

Lake Oahe

Coming in at over 150,000 hectares, Lake Oahe is a must-visit for water lovers. At its deepest, Lake Oahe hits over two hundred feet, making it a great spot for fishing. That’s not all—the area also has extensive cycling and hiking trails for those wanting a break from the water. With nine recreation areas to choose from, you and your loved ones will never be short of new activities on the shores or in the water.

Distance: Lake Oahe is a little over five hours from North Platte and almost seven hours from Omaha.

Lake Poinsett

Another popular water destination is Lake Poinsett, located in east-central South Dakota. Lake Poinsett is one of the state’s largest lakes and has the amenities to match. Visitors can stay at one of its hundred-plus campsites and spend the day enjoying the sun on Arlington Beach. With boating, fishing, and paddleboarding among the many activities offered, Lake Poinsett is sure to be a highlight of your summer.

Distance: Lake Poinsett is about four hours from Omaha and five hours from Grand Island.

Sylvan Lake

Thanks to its location in Custer State Park in the Black Hills, Sylvan Lake offers visitors one of the most scenic lake views in the state. It remains one of the most popular spots in the park, where visitors can take advantage of its campgrounds and hiking trails. Though only non-motor boats are allowed on the lake, Sylvan Lake is still a must-see for any vacation in the state.

Distance: Sylvan Lake is about five and a half hours from North Platte and about three and a half hours from Scottsbluff.



  • http://sdmissouririver.com/follow-the-river/the-four-lakes-and-dams/lake-oahe/
  • http://sheridanlakemarina.com/
  • https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/232300
  • https://gfp.sd.gov/parks/detail/lake-poinsett-recreation-area/
  • https://www.blackhillsbadlands.com/places/sylvan-lake
  • https://www.tripping.com/guides/best-lakes-in-south-dakota
  • https://www.thecrazytourist.com/15-best-lakes-in-south-dakota/
  • Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sheridan_Lake_Marina.jpg