Paddle Lake Pactola Reservoir


Added by CampCo

Hitting a trifecta of awesome, the Pactola Reservoir is not only an incredibly scenic lake with the best fishing in the state. It also hides a history of lawlessness and prosperity underneath its beautiful waters. Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, this 785-acre reservoir houses a multitude of activities for residents and visitors to enjoy such as swimming, relaxing on the beach, boating, stand-up paddleboarding, or fishing at the best spot in the state.

Though the shoreline is riddled with spectacular coves, beaches and picture-perfect picnic spots, the best way to truly explore this area is by hopping inside of a kayak and paddling your heart out. Paddlers can cruise along the coast, checking out the crystal clear waters hiding in a cove where full trees are submerged underwater, or take to the vast open waters. 

Alcatraz Island is a great spot to set as a stopover destination. About 10 years ago, an American flag was erected on top of a rock and is lit by a solar-charged light each night. It is also an ideal spot for photographers to frame their shots of the expansive beauty of the reservoir in its entirety. 

Boat rentals, restrooms and food are easily accessible and available at the Pactola Marina. Pro tip: Food can be added to your shopping cart at a discount when you use their website to reserve your rentals in advance. 

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Known for

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole



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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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