- Explore Black Hills' lakes and rivers in summer, from a canoe, kayak, paddle boat or motorboat.
- Boating locations include Black Hills National Forest, Custer State Park, Angostura Reservoir, Belle Fourche River, and more.
Boating enthusiasts will find ample opportunity to canoe, kayak or motor on several Black Hills' lakes and rivers. Lake canoeing and kayaking are popular activities within Black Hills National Forest and Custer State Park, with many rental companies operating in and around these areas. Additionally, some lakes offer motor-boating and water-skiing. River travel, whether by canoe, kayak or tube, is recommended during spring and early summer when flows are at their best.
Black Hills National Forest
- 11 reservoirs open for boating.
- Trolling boats allowed on Horsethief, Deerfield, and Bismark Lakes (“no wake” rule enforced).
- Water-skiing allowed on Pactola and Sheridan Lakes.
- Boat rentals available on Pactola and Sheridan Lakes.
Custer State Park
- Boating access on Center, Legion, Stockade, and Sylvan Lakes.
- Paddle boat, kayak and row boat rentals available.
- Location: Custer State Park falls within Black Hills National Forest, located 8 miles east of Custer.
- 4 boat ramps.
- 36 miles of shoreline.
- Canoe and Kayak rentals.
- Location: Angostura State Recreation Area is 10 miles southeast of Hot Springs.
290-miles of pristine water with multiple access points and gentle flows. Great for canoeing.
Enjoy the surrounding dense forests and high cliffs. Try canoeing the 25-mile stretch in between Spring Creek Day School and Ghost Hawk Park.
Whitewater kayak Dark Canyon, featuring “Hummer” drop (Class 3).
Its Class 5 waters are for experienced whitewater kayakers only.