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Lake Herman State Park

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General Information

Description - Located on a peninsula, Lake Herman State Park offers visitors spectacular views of Lake Herman. Melting glacial ice formed this 1,350-acre lake thousands of years ago.

Now, camping, boating, fishing, and cross country skiing are favorite activities at the park. Wildlife observation is aided by the native oak woodlands and prairie grasses that blend to create a lush savanna in the natural areas of the park. Most of the trees are native, while others were planted to provide convenient camping and hiking areas, as well as provide habitat for the variety of birds and animals that live in the park.

Lake Herman has been a popular campsite for hundreds of years. Before white settlers entered the region, it was popular among Indians traveling to nearby Pipestone quarries. Please remember that it against the law to remove any natural or cultural features from state parks. Penalties are stiff.

The first settlers at Lake Herman were Herman Luce and his son, William. They settled the timberland on the east side of the lake and assumed squatters' rights on June 17, 1870. The log cabin in the park was built for Herman Luce in the summer of 1871. The cabin is made of sturdy oak logs hand hewn to fit snugly and chinked to keep out the cold. When first constructed, it was in the midst of a stand of oak, ash, hackberry, walnut and native fruit trees.

The park is also near the site of Herman, a village established in 1875. Luce's cabin briefly served as a U. S. Land Office, with Herman Luce in charge. In 1977, the Herman Luce Cabin was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Attractions - Lake Herman State Park is sure to have something for everyone: Those staying overnight can chose among 70 electrical campsites, two tent-only sites and two camping cabins. Visitors to the park for the day can play disc golf, hike, cross-country ski, canoe, play horseshoes or immerse themselves in the history of the area. A wheelchair accessible campsite and fishing dock allow everyone to enjoy what Lake Herman has to offer.

Camping & Fees: $10/non-electrical, $13/electrical site. 72 sites (70 electrical). One wheelchair accessible site. Two tent-only sites. Showers. Water. Dump station. Camping Cabins: Two cabins. Each sleeps four people. $32/night.

Recreation - Canoe/kayak rentals. Cross-country ski trail. Nine-hole disc golf course. Hiking trails through grass prairie, wetlands and historic sites. Historical sites/interest: 1871 cabin and cemetery. Horseshoe pits. Two accessible picnic shelters. Playground equipment. Game/equipment checkout.

Swimming/Beaches: Ski beach, swimming beach. No lifeguard on duty. Swim at your own risk. Fishing/Boating: Boat ramp. Accessible fishing dock. Bullhead, crappie, northern pike, perch, walleye. Fishing license required.

Location - Located two miles west of Madison off SD Highway 34

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More Information

Contact Information:
Lake Herman State Park, 23409 State Park Drive , Madison, South Dakota, 57042 , Phone: (605) 256-5003
, LakeHerman@state.sd.us

Additional Information:
South Dakota State Parks -


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