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Officers' quarters at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

Officers’ quarters at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park. Photo: Ammodramus, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park lies along Kettle Lake surrounded by mixed-grass and wildflower prairies 18 miles south of Britton and 45 miles east of Aberdeen. This picturesque Northeastern South Dakota state park features a historic fort, campground, and scenic picnic areas.

Named for the Sisseton Indian Tribe, this peaceful area offers visitors opportunities to kayak, fish, hike, bike, camp, bird watch, picnic, and discover more about the historical significance of the area.

Activities

For a rustic get away look no further than Fort Sisseton Historic State Park. This serene park features a year round campground with camping cabins, lake activities, trails, and scenic picnic areas near restrooms and a volleyball court.

The park also offers guests snowshoe rentals during the winter.

Here are some of the activities that you can do during your visit to Fort Sisseton Historic State Park:

Historic Site at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

Historic Fort Sisseton is an 1864 fortress built on the site of Fort Wadsworth, a frontier army outpost. The fort lies along the Coteau Des Prairies (hills of the prairies) and contains 14 of its original buildings.

Guided living history tours are presented to the public between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Guests may also follow the The Andrew Jackson Fisk Historic Trail, a boardwalk path that features excerpts from Andrew Jackson Fisk’s journal, written at Fort Sisseton during the winter of 1865.

The Visitor Center features more interpretive displays and a gift shop. Both are open between Memorial Day and Labor Day. For more information call Fort Sisseton at (605) 448-5474.

A Historical Festival, held here on the first full weekend in June, showcases living history reenactors engaging in a tribute to this historic fort.

Boating at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

Enjoy a quiet paddle on Kettle Lake during your visit to Fort Sisseton Historic State Park. A boat ramp provides access to this 3,000 acre lake. Canoe and kayak rentals are available within the park, as well as life jackets.

Hiking at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park provides a boardwalk trail for guests to follow and learn more about the history, flora and fauna of the area. This easy 0.25 mile trail, The Andrew Jackson Fisk Historic Trail, winds around the Parade Grounds and features 18 interpretive signs with excerpts from Andrew Jackson Fisk’s journal.

The trail begins near the north end of the fort grounds and takes about 45 minutes to completely walk through.

Benches, restrooms, and drinking water are located along the trail.

Fishing at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park’s 3,000 acre lake, Kettle Lake, is ideal for catching walleye,black crappie, northern pike, yellow perch, and black bullhead. You can fish from your canoe or along the shoreline, and if you forget to bring your fishing pole you can rent one inside the park.

Be sure to pick up a South Dakota fishing license ahead of time.

Birding at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

The Central and Mississippi migratory flyway crosses over Fort Sisseton Historic State Park and offers visitors a closer look at a variety of bird species. The park is one of 38 prime birding sites along the Glacial Lakes & Prairies Birding Trail, a pathway that millions of birds cross each spring and fall.

With some patience and a good set of binoculars you may get a chance to observe a Black-capped Chickadee, Blue Jay, Song Sparrow, House Finch, American Robin, Mourning Dove, European Starling, Prairie Falcon, Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Eastern Kingbird, Dark-eyed Junco, American Goldfinch, Indigo Bunting, or a Red-headed Woodpecker.

Nature and Wildlife at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park lies within the northeastern part of South Dakota, surrounded by woodlands, wetlands, and wildflower prairie. Look for deer, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, raccoons, prairie dogs, rabbits, and opossum during your visit here.

Pets

Pets are allowed at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park as long as they are supervised and leashed. Pets are not permitted inside park buildings.

Camping

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park has 14 electric campsites and 3 camping cabins nestled within a private shaded area of the park not far from the historic fort.Each of the 3 rustic cabins can accommodate up to 6 people and have 2 bunk beds, electricity, heat and air conditioning.

Each campsite and cabin has a picnic table and fire ring and access to flush toilets, showers, and drinking water May 1 through September 30. The water is turned off in the park between Oct 1 and April 30 but vault toilets remain open during that time.

Park Location

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park
11907 434th Ave
Lake City, SD 57247
Phone: 605.448.5474

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park: