When it comes to boating, South Dakota is often overlooked. The state known for Mount Rushmore and the Badlands has an impressive offering of natural wonders, scenic drives, historic landmarks, Native American tradition, and rugged adventure. And one of the best places to take in the state’s natural grandeur is a visit to Lake Oahe, one of the largest lakes in the country.
(Satellite picture of Lake Oahe in winter)
Lake Oahe is a reservoir on the Missouri River, and in terms of surface area, it’s the second largest reservoir in the U.S. The lake spans from southern South Dakota up to Bismarck, North Dakota. It’s a massive 231 miles long and over 200 feet deep at several points. That’s plenty of room for a Lewis-and-Clark-inspired adventure in your Crownline.
When it comes to recreation, Lake Oahe provides an unparalleled camping experience with stunning vistas and plenty of wildlife. One of our favorite camping spots is the West Whitlock State Recreation Area in Gettysburg. The park is situated on gorgeous open land, has great fishing, and is close to a number of resorts and campgrounds.
If you like fishing, you’ll love Lake Oahe. It’s home to large number of species including walleye (the most popular fish in the lake), northern pike, catfish, and smallmouth bass. Chinook salmon, which are not native to the area, are artificially maintained in Lake Oahe and a very popular target for anglers.
If you’re looking for great food around this giant lake, look toward Pierre. The capital city offers a significantly larger number of restaurant options than the open plains. Chops is a delicious deli that serves fine meats and local food. Go there for their walleye and panini. The Cattleman’s Club Steakhouse is another authentic South Dakota experience that’s worth a try.
Lake Oahe is a massive lake that’s ready for just about anything you want to throw at it. With plenty of room for water sports and high-speed cruising, you’ll find it easy to spend hours on the open water. And when it’s time slow down, it’s hard to beat a colorful sunset on the prairie.
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