Richmond Lake Recreation Area is actually three parks in one with a plethora of activities for everyone. The first section is the water fun area, which consists of a boat ramp, swimming beach, and plenty of fishing areas around the 1,000-acre Richmond Lake. The second area is the camping section, which boasts 24 RV and tent camping sites for rigs up to 70 feet long. The third section is the 200-acre forest drive section, which is perfect for those who like to explore trails and discover wildlife.
No matter whether you are there for the day or for the week, you will have plenty to do whatever your sport or leisure activity. Besides fishing and swimming, there are playgrounds for the kids to play on, picnic shelters to enjoy a family get-together, miles of trails, and a disc golf course. And you don’t have to stop having fun just because it gets cold outside.
The park is open all year long and even has snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails to keep you in shape during the winter. If you have a horse, bring them along because there is a horse trail where you can get your equestrian friend some exercise too. The fish bite all year long in Richmond Lake too so you can enjoy that sport during any season here as well.
Just a short drive from Aberdeen in northeastern South Dakota you can find Richmond Lake Recreation Area right off Interstate 281. Your trip to the lake is mostly highway no matter whether you are coming from across town or across the country. However, once you get off the highway and get closer to the park, you will notice the roads getting narrower and curvier. If you are pulling a trailer or driving a large RV, you will need to take it slow and easy.
Driving slowly will also give you the opportunity to see the beautiful countryside and spot some of the local wildlife. Bring along your camera or keep your phone handy so you can get some pictures to share on Facebook or Snapchat. You should also watch out for the critters that sometimes wander onto the road such as whitetail deer, raccoons, and squirrels.
Inside the park, the roads are a bit narrow and there are some areas with low hanging branches to watch out for, depending on the season. It is best to park your rig at the campsite and walk or bike to where you want to go. However, there are several parking lots where your RV or trailer can be parked safely if needed.
Richmond Lake Campground has 22 campsites with pads ranging from 30 to 70 feet long. They are open all year long, but the showers and water access are shut off from November until May. Each campsite has electricity, a picnic table, a fire pit with a built-in grill, and a lantern hanger. In addition, there are potable water hydrants near the playground, picnic shelter number two, and the beach.
The comfort station is located near campsite 19 and it has showers, flushable toilets, and running water. There are vault toilets by the beach, picnic area, and near campsite eight. If you need an RV dump site, you can find that near the campground entrance. The Quaking Aspen Trailhead is located between the campground and the beach where you can walk off some of the calories from dinner. Pets are welcome too as long as they are kept restrained or on a leash at all times.
If you did not have time to make a reservation, all vacant campsites are available on a first-come, first-served, day-to-day basis. However, you need to check with the camp host or park ranger before unpacking. If you cannot find a park employee, follow the instructions on the vacancy card by the site.
Make sure you pack your fishing poles in the RV before you head to the park because this lake is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. The primary species in the lake include walleye, bluegill, and crappie, which are fun to catch with lures or jigs. You can also find large and smallmouth bass, catfish, and perch, which bite on cut bait, worms, or lures. Whether you are fishing from the shore or in a boat in the middle of the lake, you are bound to catch something.
This sport is like a combination of frisbee and golf and it is becoming very popular. Pack your disc golf gear in the camper or you can borrow some from the park office/store. The trailhead is about a mile from the third parking lot and takes you about two miles through the trees and meadows where you are likely to run into hikers or wild critters along your way. There are picnic tables and a fireplace at the trailhead as well as an informational sign for more details.
Hook the boat trailer up to the RV before you head out. There are two different boat launch ramps, which are located at the eastern section of the park near the dam. Whether you have a big pontoon boat, a fishing boat, or a small kayak, they are all welcome on Richmond Lake. You will probably even see some sailboats and jet skis zipping along on the lake as well as sailboarders and wakeboarders. It may get crowded in the summertime but the lake is over 1,000 acres so there is plenty of room for everyone.
If you have a horse, bring them along and you can enjoy the beauty of the Richmond Lake Recreation Area on one of their several trails. You can hook the horse trailer up to the camper so you can all go and have fun at the park. The main horse trail is about three miles long and takes you along the outer boundary of the park through the elms, pines, and cottonwood trees. Bring along a camera so you can get some pictures of the many different critters that live in the woods all year long.
Snowmobiling is a fun and exciting sport that can give you that boost of energy you have been looking for. During the winter, the park can be peaceful and serene, but you can fix that by revving your engines and zipping along the three-mile trail, which is also used for cross-country skiing. So don’t forget to attach the snowmobile trailer to the RV so you can explore the snowy wonderland in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
The cross-country skiing trail is a three-mile natural surfaced path that takes you around the entire perimeter of the park. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, this trail is easy and has a warming shelter with a trail map to help you on your way. This is a relatively flat trail except for the Forest Drive Trail section, which has some hills. From this trail, you can also reach the horse trail and the disc golf trail.