Pease Creek Recreation Area is a fabulous place for campers that includes easy access to Lake Francis Case, plenty of activities, and 23 campsites that offer electric hookups for rigs. Located nine miles south of Geddes, South Dakota, the 600-acre recreation area is adjacent to Lake Francis Case along the Missouri River north of Fort Randall Dam. Lake Francis Case was created with the damming of the Missouri River by the Fort Randall Dam in 1953. The lake encompasses 540 miles of shoreline and 102,000 acres of surface water making the lake the eleventh largest in the United States.
The land surrounding Pease Creek Recreation Area was the ancestral homeland to numerous Plains Indian Tribes including the Yankton Sioux. The tribe first encountered European fur trappers in the late 1790s and held council with Lewis and Clark during their Corps of Discovery Expedition. The tribe had problems with settlers and the building of Fort Randall in 1856 was intended to stop the violence between Plains Indians and settlers moving into the area. The tribe entered into the Treaty of 1858 and was removed to a reservation of more than 250,000 acres in South Dakota.
Today, Pease Creek Recreation Area is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with a plethora of activities to keep campers entertained. Activities to enjoy include fishing, boating, hiking, horseback riding, hiking, biking, and winter sports like snowshoeing. The campground has 23 campsites for rigs with electric hookups, and there is an additional campground for horses that includes individual corrals at each campsite.
The weather at Pease Creek Recreation Area is ideal for camping with summertime temperatures in the high 80s accompanied by up to three and a half inches of rain. Winter time brings up to six inches of snow along with temperatures in the 20s.
RVs and campers can access Pease Creek Recreation Area from the junction of 293rd Street and 373rd Avenue. Traveling south from Geddes you will first navigate State Highway 50 which is a straight road along undulating prairie terrain that might have high winds that will prohibit your speed. Once driving inside the recreation area you will encounter both gravel and paved roads. There will be congestion at several places including near the campground, the boat launch, and day use areas which are located throughout the recreation area with large parking areas. If you are traveling to the southern portion of the recreation area you will encounter congestion around the horse campground where people will be driving more slowly while pulling a horse trailer. While driving in the recreation area please adhere to all posted speed limits and beware of sharing the road with pedestrians, horseback riders, bicyclists, and children playing in the campground area.
The Pease Creek Recreation Area Main Campground is situated along one road that connects two loops that contain 23 back-in campsites which are furnished with electric hookups for campers. The campground resides in a nice forested area that offers shade and privacy at most campsites. Each campsite features a fire ring, picnic table, and gravel parking pad which may require leveling. Rigs are limited to 65 feet in length but not all campsites can accommodate larger rigs. There is no dump station located at the recreation area. Campers can dump their holding tanks for a small fee at Myrtle’s Campground located adjacent to the park on the eastside. You are encouraged to fill your water tank while dumping your holding tank. Other facilities within the campground include showers, flush and vault toilets, a children’s playground, and water spigots. Generators may be used from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Pets must be restrained at all times by a ten-foot leash. Although the campground is open year round, there is no water service available from October until April each year.
The Pease Creek Recreation Area Horse Campground is situated along one loop in the southern portion of the recreation area and contains seven campsites. The campsites are suitable for rigs but do not offer any type of hookups. The campground is in a forested area which provides both shade and privacy for campers. Each campsite is furnished with a fire ring, picnic table, horse corral, and a gravel parking pad which may require leveling. There is no dump station located within the recreation area. The nearest dump station is at Myrtle’s Campground which is adjacent to the entrance of the recreation area. There is a small fee for dumping holding tanks. RVers are encouraged to fill their water tanks while dumping their holding tanks. Other facilities within this campground include vault toilets and water spigots. Generators may be used from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Pets must be restrained by a ten-foot leash at all times. Although the campground is open all year round there is no water service available from October until April each year.
Take your fishing pole in your camper because the fishing at Pease Creek Recreation Area is fabulous. Located along Lake Francis Case of the Missouri River, the lake offers plenty of action from the shoreline and while cruising in a boat on the lake. There is a boat ramp to make your launch more convenient and you can expect to catch a variety of fish like walleye, channel catfish, northern pike, yellow perch, and an assortment of bass. Please check the South Dakota fishing regulations for bag and size limits.
If you can pull your horse trailer behind your truck camper then a great thing to do in Pease Creek Recreation Area is to go horseback riding. There is a perfect horse campground at the recreation area that allows for easy access to a great four mile trail that is shared with hikers and bikers. The trail is loaded with interpretive signs explaining the ecosystem, animals, and creation of Pease Creek Recreation Area. If you are from out-of-state with your horses, you should check the South Dakota regulations for proper health certificates before hitting the trail.
Water sports are a perfect thing to do in Pease Creek Recreation Area. There is plenty of water on Lake Francis Case to make sure you have fun. Whether you are taking a sail boat, motor boat, a kayak or canoe the water is splendid for some entertaining time on the water. Jet skis and water skiing are also popular at the recreation area. There is a great boat ramp to help you launch your water craft into the roaring waters of Missouri River. Another plus are the views of the shoreline from your water craft which are packed with interesting landscape, wildlife, and trees.
Mountain biking in the spring and fall is a perfect thing to do when you visit Pease Creek Recreation Area in your campervan. Peddling around the 600 acres of natural landscape offers plenty of challenges for more advanced riders. Novice peddlers can enjoy the relatively flat four mile trail but you will have to share the trail with horseback riders. The fall brings plenty of gorgeous colors when the trees begin to turn from green to yellow to orange to red which makes a ride along the recreation area’s main road a joy for your eyes.
Winter sports are a plus while visiting Pease Creek Recreation Area in the winter. Once the snow flies there is plenty of terrain to explore while you are snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the 600-acre recreation area. You can decide to try the almost four-mile multiuse trail in the southern portion of the recreation area, or you can just explore the hilly terrain within the recreation area. Other ideas for winter sports include tubing and sledding down the hilly terrain of Pease Creek Recreation Area.
Everyone should keep a good pair of binoculars in their rig to help get a great glimpse of some incredible wildlife. Wildlife you can expect to spot from a distance includes white-tailed deer, mule deer, pheasants, wild turkeys, muskrats, and an occasional beaver. Bird watching is superb at Pease Creek Recreation Area when in the spring, fall, and winter you can catch a glimpse of hundreds of migrating birds including numerous species of duck and geese. If you are lucky you will see a bald eagle or red-tailed hawk scouring the lake for fish.