Sweet Summertime at Pickerel Lake

Despite nature’s seemingly cruel attempt to thwart it, Summer has finally officially arrived in South Dakota. With that adventurous summer buzz in the air, residents and tourists alike are finding ways to get outdoors and experience all that the extensive Mount Rushmore State has to offer. One of the best and most popular ways to soak in the season is to take a dip or try your hand at catching the ever delicious state fish, the walleye, in one of the state’s innumerable crisp, refreshing bodies of water.

One such magnificent body of water in the glacial lake region is Pickerel Lake. This quiet 955-acre lake is one of South Dakota’s deepest natural lakes. Visitors can boat, swim, water ski, jet ski, tube, hike, kayak, camp, stand up paddleboard, or simply enjoy the tranquil cool breeze of the vast lake. Unsurprisingly, one of the main activities at Pickerel is fishing as “Pickerel” is an American-Indian name meaning “where you spear long fish”. Fish such as walleye, northern pike, crappie, perch, and bass roam the cool waters of spring-fed Pickerel and make for a perfect place to reel one in.

Located in Grenville, SD in Day County, Pickerel Lake is a short two and half hours from the bustle of the state’s largest city of Sioux Falls. In addition to the mighty Missouri river that runs directly through the state, water-seekers have their pick of many lakes sprinkled across the land. In the Northeastern portion of the state; fishers, boaters, and sunbathers are in seventh heaven in the glacial lake region of South Dakota. Substantially less busy and commercialized than neighboring state’s lakes; the lakes of the glacial lake region boast deep bodies of water formed thousands of years ago by glacial activity.

Many Sioux Falls residents keep residences at the lake. While services are somewhat limited in the lake area, any visitor (21 or older) to Pickerel Lake cannot miss Pickerel Lake Lodge where they serve up their celebrated Pickerel Lake Iced Tea and other lakeside food and drink. The only restaurant on the lake, the Lodge is open year-round as a restaurant and hotel, but is busiest during the magical, long-awaited days of the South Dakota summertime.

Discovering the Hidden Gems: Best Places to Visit in South Dakota

Discovering the Hidden Gems: Best Places to Visit in South Dakota

Unveiling South Dakota's Splendor: Must-See Natural Wonders The Majestic Mount Rushmore: America's Shrine of Democracy Nestled in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mount Rushmore National Memorial stands as a monumental tribute to four of the United States' most...

Great Faces. Great Places.

South Dakota is an incredibly unique state in that each region offers a completely different experience then the others. Check out each of the regions to see what each has to offer!


Western South Dakota

Featuring the Black Hills, Badlands, the Sturgis Rally. This region tends to be the most popular.


This region of South Dakota offers some of the best hunting and fishing in the entire central US. 

Eastern Region

The eastern region is home to the largest city in the state and provides visitors with a true "prairie" experience.