Stunning Sylvan Lake Offers Something for Everyone

Nestled inside the stunning Custer State Park and the Black Hills of South Dakota, Sylvan Lake offers visitors an opportunity to experience nature at its best. The pristine lake is surrounded by towering granite cliffs and lush forests, creating a breathtaking backdrop for nature lovers.

After a long hike to Black Elk Peak, a swim and paddleboard in crystal clear water was the best way to re-energize our bodies. Although we brought our own gear, any visitor to the park can rent boats, kayaks, and paddleboards from the Sylvan Lake Lodge.

For those seeking a more relaxed experience, the lake offers several beaches for sunbathing and picnicking. The lake’s beach is a popular destination for families with children, featuring a playground, volleyball court, and concessions.

Another fun activity while there is the Sylvan Lake Shore Trail. It is a popular 1.1-mile loop around the lake. What a great way to take in the beauty of the lake and the surrounding cliffs!

No matter what your interests are, Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park is sure to offer something for everyone. Whether you spend your days on the water, exploring the trails, or simply relaxing on the beach, the natural beauty of Sylvan Lake is sure to leave you in awe.

Tips for Spending the Day at Sylvan Lake

  • Arrive before the crowds. The parking is spacious, but does fill up by late morning. The parking for Sylvan Lake vistors and hikers compete for the same spaces.
  • Wear sun screen and eye protection.
  • Take a picnic lunch. The is the picture-perfect place for a family food outing!
  • Prepared for wind. All activities are not perfectly suited for windy days. Consider having an alternate activity is the wind is too strong.


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