, 2023-04-21 20:07:28,
South Dakota is known for its national monuments, rich Native American culture, and agricultural production. The state boasts incredible natural beauty, from the Black Hills to the Dissected Till Plains. It also features its fair share of lakes, most of which are situated in the eastern half of the state. During the heat of summer, many of these lakes turn into popular swimming holes for residents and tourists alike. Here’s a list of eight of the best South Dakota lakes for swimming.
1. Sylvan Lake
Sylvan Lake resides in the Black Hills just 5 miles southwest of Mount Rushmore. Created in 1891 due to the building of the Sylvan Lake Water Dam on Sunday Gulch Creek, the lake now serves as the crown jewel of Custer State Lake Park.
Sylvan Lake’s proximity to so many activities makes it a popular tourist destination. Visitors to the lake come to hike, fish, and boat or to make excursions to local sites such as Mount Rushmore, the Needles, or Black Elk Peak.
The 17.3-acre lake features a sandy beach where visitors can go swimming. The cool, clear water feels great in the summer, and it is definitely one of the best South Dakota lakes for swimming. There are also plenty of rocks around the lake that you can jump off of and amenities such as picnic benches and a general store where you can rent boating equipment or buy snacks and drinks.
2. Angostura Reservoir
Angostura Reservoir ranks as one of the few major reservoirs in the southwestern part of South Dakota. This 4,407-acre reservoir boasts 36 miles of shoreline. It dates back to 1949 when the Bureau of Reclamation constructed the Angostura Dam across the Cheyenne River.
On average, Angostura Reservoir measures around 29 feet deep and has a maximum depth of 75 feet. The lake attracts anglers thanks to its thriving gamefish population, which includes bass, walleye, crappie, and pike.
Many people flock to the reservoir every year to soak up the sun on one of Angostura Reservoir’s several sandy beaches. The reservoir features some of the best beaches in the state, such as Breakers Beach, as well as cool, clear water. That said, even in summer, the water measures around 66 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a fairly cold swim.
3. Pactola Lake
At 800 acres and up to 150 feet deep, Pactola Lake ranks as the largest reservoir in the Black Hills. The lake lies approximately 15 miles west of Rapid City and dates back to 1952….
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