Buryanek Recreation Area is a splendid place to visit with plenty of shoreline along Lake Francis Case of the Missouri River, outdoor activities, and 37 campsites with electric hookups for RVs. Located 22 miles from Platte, South Dakota, the recreation area is situated along Lake Francis Case on the Missouri River. Buryanek Recreation Area was created in 1968 and originally was owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The recreation area is historically significant because of the travels of Lewis and Clarke during their Discovery Expedition. It is in this area along the Missouri River that Private George Shannon became lost for two weeks while trying to retrieve stray horses.
Buryanek Recreation Area was first the ancestral homeland of several Plains Indian Tribes including the Siseton-Wahpeton Oyate and Yankton Sioux. There first encounter with European settlers came in the 1790s when fur trappers roamed the Missouri River before the tribes made contact the Discovery Expedition. The 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty opened much of the land to settlers and forced many of the tribes to rebel which lead to removal of the tribes to nearby reservations.
Buryanek Recreation Area is perfect for the outdoor enthusiasts with a plethora of activities. RVers will be thrilled with activities that range from fishing and boating to wildlife watching and birding to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The campground is pleasant with 37 campsites that offer electric hookups.
Weather at Buryanek Recreation Area is ideal for RVs with summer time temperatures in the high 80s to low 90s with up to four inches of rainfall per month. Winter time brings plenty of snow with up to eight inches per month accompanied by temperatures in the low 30s.
Campervans, trailers, and campers can access Buryanek Recreation Area at the intersection of South Dakota State Highway 44 and Buryanek Road. Traveling east along State Highway 44 from Dixon is a bit challenging. You will encounter undulating prairie terrain with several curves that may require you to use a pullout to allow a steady flow of traffic. High winds along the highway may also prohibit your vehicle speed and if traveling in the winter, whiteouts are common from blowing snow. Traveling west from Platte along State Highway 44 is a similar drive with undulating terrain, possible high winds and whiteouts in the winter months and you must travel over a two lane bridge that crosses the Missouri River at Snake Creek Recreation Area.
Buryanek Road which is gravel and hard to maneuver when the weather is bad. Navigating is more difficult with numerous curves along the way that will prohibit your speed. Depending on the condition of the gravel road your speeds may also be hampered by wash board conditions. There are also a number of curves to be aware of as you navigate the prairie terrain.
As you travel through the recreation area beware of congestion around the boat ramp which is situated between the two loops. When driving inside the recreation area please adhere to all posted speed limits. Be cautious while you drive and be prepared to share the road with bicyclists, pedestrians, and children playing near the campsites in the road.
The Buryanek Recreation Area Campground has two loops that are connected by one road. There are 41 back-in campsites along the two loops and each campsite features electric hookups. The campground is typical of open prairie land with little or no shade and there is no privacy associated with any of the campsites. High winds may be a problem for tents but not for RVs or motorhomes. The campground offers easy access to the swimming beach and the shoreline of the Missouri River and Lake Francis Case. Each campsite offers a fire ring, picnic table, and gravel parking pad which will probably require some leveling. Motorhomes are limited to 65 feet in length. You will find a dump station located near the entrance and you are encouraged to fill your water tank while dumping your holding tank. Other facilities within the campground include flush and vault toilets, showers, water spigots, a children’s playground, and a fish cleaning station. Generators may be used from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Pets must be restrained at all times by a six-foot leash. Campers can expect the water to be shut off between October 1st and April 30th of each year.
Once the ice freezes over there are plenty of opportunities for you to catch plenty of fish. Ice conditions are better during the middle months of winter and you can expect to land walleye, channel catfish, northern pike, and several species of trout. Before you setup your hut, make sure you check ice conditions with local officials. Four to six inches of ice is safe for walking. If you are pulling a sled with your gear you will need six to twelve inches of ice for ATVs and snowmobiles.
You will want to bring your binoculars in your motorhome especially if you want the best vantage points to watch wildlife. Whether you are out on Lake Francis Case or on dry land, the wildlife watching in Buryanek Recreation Area is stellar. Species you can see in their natural habitat include white and black-tailed deer, mule deer, beavers, badgers, muskrats, and cheerful prairie dogs. Birds are also plentiful on the Missouri River with opportunities to see bald eagles, blue and green herons, eastern screech owls, wild turkeys, pheasants, plenty of migrating duck and geese, and you can spot a red-bellied woodpecker.
Any time the snow flies there are great recreational opportunities for everyone who loves the cold weather. You can expect plenty of snow in the winter months that doesn’t leave the ground which makes snowshoeing and cross-country skiing a great thing to do in Buryanek Recreation Area. You can put on your gear and explore the vast prairie area, the shoreline of the lake and there is always open space around the campground to experience. Always be careful when snowshoeing near the shoreline and you should check the ice conditions before heading out on to Lake Francis Case.
Hiking is a perfect thing to do in Buryanek Recreation Area. There are no established trails with signage but there are several single and double track trails that will take you from the campground through the northern section of the recreation area until you encounter the Missouri River. Walking along the banks of the river and Lake Francis Case is pleasant for families and you can take a picnic lunch and stop along the way.
If you can pull a boat with your RV then it’s a great thing to have at Buryanek Recreation Area. Lake Francis Case has more than 100,000 acres with plenty of places to water ski, jet ski, pull an inner tube, or just cruise the lake on a sunny day for fun. Other water sports include a gorgeous swimming beach within walking distance to the campground. Kayaking and canoeing are also encouraged on the Missouri River and lake. To help you launch there is a boat ramp between the two loops of the campground.
Take you rod and reel in your camper because the fishing at Buryanek Recreation Area is fabulous. There is plenty of shoreline for you to dip your line trying to land that big fish of your dreams. In addition there is a boat ramp which can help you get out on the 102,000-acre lake on the Missouri River. Fish species you can expect to catch include walleye, northern pike, channel catfish, bluegill, perch and trout. Check South Dakota fishing regulations for bag and size limits.