Pelican Lake Recreation Area

Map of TRACK Trail at Pelican Lake Recreation Area

The Pelican Lake Recreation Area’s TRACK Trail adventures are for use on the park’s ObservationTower Trail, a 1 mile trail (2 miles round-trip) through open grasslands and mixed hardwood forests

Enjoy a nice view of Pelican Lake, shorebirds, and waterfowl in an observation tower located along an inlet to the lake. Pelican Lake is a popular stopping point for migrating waterfowl. Each fall, geese and ducks use the lake's open waters as a resting area. A variety of shore birds spend their entire summer in or near the park.

Most noticeable are the large white pelicans that frequent the lake. Pelicans were so numerous when the region was first settled that the lake was named in their honor. An observation tower on one of the hiking trails gives visitors a bird's-eye view of the area.

Track an adventure here
Collectible sticker for Pelican Lake

Location Details

Recreational Features: Camping, Picnic Tables, Fishing, Interpretive Programs, Birding
Amenities: Restrooms
ADA Compliant: No
Seasonality: Open all year
Entrance sign for Pelican Lake
Fishing dock on lake
Beach at Pelican Lake

Adventures for Pelican Lake Recreation Area

Nature's Hide and Seek brochure
Hiking

Hide and Seek: Pelican Lake

Difficulty:
Moderate
Trail length:
2.00
The Nature's Hide & Seek brochure is designed so that kids of all ages can walk along the trail and discover common things that are often overlooked in nature. Some of them are hard to find, others are easy. Best of all, the adventure never ends because every time you walk the trail you will discover new things hiding in nature.
Bug Out brochure
Hiking

Bug Out: Pelican Lake

Difficulty:
Moderate
Trail length:
2.00
The "Bug Out" brochure is an investigation into the creepy crawlies of the forest. This adventure will help kids learn how to tell the difference between insects, spiders and other arthropods... as well as identify some of the more common bugs along the trail.
Need for Trees brochure
Hiking

Need for Trees: Pelican Lake

Difficulty:
Moderate
Trail length:
2.00
By following the picture and text clues found in "The Need for Trees" brochure, kids will discover six of the more common trees found along the trail. During their adventure, kids will learn about the need that people and other animals have for trees and about the roles trees play in the forest.
Birds of South Dakota brochure
Hiking

Birds of South Dakota: Pelican Lake

Difficulty:
Moderate
Trail length:
2.00
The Birds of the South Dakota brochure shows kids where to look for different birds along the trail. The brochure contains illustrations of some of the more common woodland birds and information on how to identify them through various clues.

Directions

17450 450th Avenue
Watertown, SD 57201
Latitude: 44.855266700000
Longitude: -97.208813900000

For directions and more information, please visit http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/pelican-lake/ 

Partners

The TRACK Trail program is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

The Pelican Lake Recreation Area TRACK Trail is made possible through a partnership between between the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation's Kids in Parks program and the South Dakota State Parks Department.