Water Recreation

 Water Recreation in Yankton, South Dakota

Kayak and Canoe

Lewis and Clark Lake, Lake Yankton and the Missouri National Recreational River provide many miles of water and shoreline to explore by kayak or canoe! The beautiful chalkstone bluffs along the lake and river provide a scenic backdrop for people who like to travel across deep and wide waters, see beautiful natural history, enjoy scenery and view wildlife.

Lake Yankton has a “Gas Motors Prohibited” rule which is great for beginners to kayaking and canoeing. The recreational river is a unit of the National Park System and part of the nation’s Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Contact the National Park Service at (605) 665-0209 for more information on kayaking and canoeing or check out or Kayaks and canoes can also be rented from DJ’S Specialty Resort & Rentals, (605) 665-3206 or from Lakeside Fun Rentals,,  (402) 388-4444. Get out and explore this dynamic National Recreational River.

Lakes and Rivers

Lake Yankton
Lake Yankton is around 250 acres with camping around the lake area. The lake has a “Gas Motors Prohibited wake” rule which makes it great for fishing, kayaking and canoeing. 

Lewis and Clark Lake
The magnificent 30-mile Lewis and Clark Lake offers great fishing and boating opportunities. Area campgrounds offer over 870 campsites with many amenities, making Yankton the largest camping destination in the Midwest. Whether boating, fishing, camping, bicycling, horseback riding, swimming or jet skiing, you will enjoy the beautiful lakeside weather with warm days and cool nights of the spring and summer. In the fall and winter, more fishing and boating, cross country skiing or just relaxing by the fireplace in a cozy cabin and watching the wildlife of the area. The Lewis and Clark Marina near Gavins Point Dam has over 400 slips, fueling, boat rentals, mechanics and a convenience store.

Missouri National Recreational River
(605) 665-0209
Did you know Yankton has a National Park? That’s right, the Missouri National Recreational River runs right along Yankton’s historic waterfront. Come discover beautiful stretches of the Missouri River with plenty of outdoor activities, including miles of trails for hiking, biking, running and paddling. Start your visit at Riverside Park where there are exhibits detailing the history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the steamboat era and the Dakota Territorial Capital. A new hiking feature is the Meridian Bridge, which was recently converted to safe pedestrian access from downtown Yankton to trails in Nebraska. The bridge offers a wonderful vantage point to look upon the Recreational River’s Wild and Scenic waters. Summer programming includes Junior Ranger and other programs for youth; evening programs, canoe and fishing clinics, programs at the Lewis & Clark Visitor Center, an exhibit at the Yankton Chamber and Visitors Center and much more. Please check the Web site for current activity schedules or visit the park headquarters.


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