One of the most magnificent things about living in the Black Hills of South Dakota, is the easy access to some of the most angelic and stunning lakes you have ever seen! Using Rapid City as a homebase, some of these lakes are faster and easire to get to than others. The following 5 can be considered the closest best in the area:
Located right inside of Rapid City is the charming Canyon Lake, a man made lake that is located on the west part of town just off of Jackson Boulevard. If you need to get some of relief that nature regularly provides us, but just do not have the time to drive out of town in order to get it, you can stop over at Canyon Lake and take a quiet walk along the bike path or bridge, or even just sit in your car in the parking lot and get some fresh air and a little relaxation from the stress of every day life. If you want to do a little fishing, you could be very lucky in catching a fresh and tasty Rainbow trout that was most likely recently released from the nearby fish hatchery.
If you do have some extra time, you can drive about 40 minutes out to an alluring lake called Pactola Resevoir, and get some actual nature. The smell of the pine trees along with the lavish beauty of the lake throughout the entire year is majestic! In the summer, this lake is perfect for boating and fishing beautiful Rainbow or Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass, and even some Sockeye Salmon. In the late fall, winter, and late spring, there is the opportunity to go ice fishing here as well. There are trails surrounding the perimeter of the lake to go exploring, or you can visit the dam and just enjoy the view.
Although Sheridan Lake is a bit further out of Rapid City, it can easily be reached by taking Sheridan lake road to the west. After driving for about an hour or so, you will reach this impressive, medium sized lake that is surrounded by the Black Hills National forest and can be a delightful place to go to cool off during the summer months because it is a very warm lake with a good sized, comfortable, and not overly crowded beach area. If you go fishing here, you can expect to catch a variety of fish including Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, White Crappie and Yellow Perch. There is a dock that is easily accesible to all visitors where you can unload your boat, jet-ski's, or other watercraft. There is also plenty of parking at this destination for trailers and campers alike. One thing I noticed is that most people here are very helpful and friendly.
An even more secluded, yet astonishing lake to go to camp, fish, canoe, hike around, or just explore is Deerfield Lake, which is about 20 miles NW of Hill City. As a child, I frequently visited the lakes I previously wrote about, but only heard about Deerfield. When I discovered the unspoken beauty of this place, I could not get enough! I have had to camp there several times, go hiking on the scenic trails that surround the perimeter of the peaceful water, and even tried canoeing for my first time in this calm water. The type of fish in this lake include Carp and Trout. This is one of the most memorable places in the Black Hills of South Dakota to visit by far!
Sylvan Lake, is quite a bit further from Rapid City, South Dakota and could take a little over an hour to reach. It is one of the most majestic lakes in the center of the Black Hills. It is surrounded by enourmous silver granite rocks that almost seem to erupt from amongst the calm waters. There is a lodge on one portion of the lake and a parking area with a several tables to have a picnic under the shady pines. They type of fish that are in these waters include Trout, Bass, Northern Pike, Crappie and Perch. The Black Hills National Forest is easily accesible from this lake and the walking trails are abundant!