Walker's Point Recreation Area
Guide

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Introduction

Situated on Lake Madison, Walker’s Point Recreation Area in South Dakota boasts scenic views of over 2,800 acres of water that are excellent for both fishing and boating. Anglers will find bluegill, walleye, northern pike, and yellow bullhead. A fish cleaning station near the RV campground makes it easy to prep dinner. The shaded shores of the lake are perfect for long kayaking or canoeing trips, and the cool waters are excellent for a dip on hot summer days.

The park is also a great stop for those interested in wildlife viewing. You’ll be able to spot dozens of bird species, many of which are migrating through the area. Bald eagles are a common site, as are their hatchlings. The park has a number of picnic areas and playgrounds, should you want to relax and enjoy the views.

There is a 42-site campground open to tents, RVs, and trailers, located along the shores of the lake. All of the sites have electrical hookups for your rig, and the campground is dog-friendly. You’ll be just feet from the water, and within walking distance of all of the park’s amenities, including the boat launch.

RV Rentals in Walker's Point Recreation Area

Transportation in Walker's Point Recreation Area

Driving

Located near South Dakota’s border with Minnesota, Walker’s Point Recreation area is a quick drive from Sioux Falls, and is also easy to reach from Minneapolis and Omaha. The park itself is fairly small and RV-friendly.

If you are driving from Sioux Falls, take I-29 north out of the city and you can reach the park in around 45 minutes. From Omaha, also take I-29 north and you will arrive in around three and a half hours. Coming from Minneapolis, head along MN-60 west to get to the park in just under five hours.

Running along the shores of Lake Madison, the campsites are easy to access from the park’s main road. Since the sites are right on the water, there is occasional flooding, so drive with caution after heavy storms. There is occasional ice on the roads during the winter, so you should consider bringing snow chains if visiting after a snow storm.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Walker's Point Recreation Area

Campsites in Walker's Point Recreation Area

Reservations camping

Walker’s Point Recreation Area Campground

There are 42 sites located within the park’s campground, all of which have electrical hookups. There are modern restrooms with flush toilets in the northern portion of the campground, as well as a vault toilet in the southern area. There are multiple access points for drinking water located throughout the campground. The campground is located just south of the park’s main areas, including the boat launch, fish cleaning station, park office, and picnic areas.

The campground is open year round. However, running from October until April, water lines may be closed to avoid freezing. Contact park officials if you want updates on the status of the campground.

All of the sites can be booked year round. The sites fill up quickly, especially running from late May through early September. Try to book a few months in advance if you are planning a visit during this period.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Walker's Point Recreation Area

In-Season

Boating

The park also makes a great destination for any RV camper interested in camping. The cool shores of the lake are perfect for kayaking and canoeing on hot summer days. Motorized boats are allowed, so you can enjoy water and jet skiing on the lake.

The boat launch is located just minutes from the campground. The park does not rent boats of any kind, so you’ll need to bring your own along with your camper or trailer.

Swimming

Lake Madison is open to swimming, and is a great spot for hot summer days. There are gravel beaches throughout the park for easy access to the water. There are a number of picnic areas situation along the water, should you want to enjoy a snack before or after a swim. The RV campground is located right on the water, so you can jump into the water straight from your campervan.

Fishing

Lake Madison is populated by a number of different fish species, giving anglers plenty of opportunities. You’ll be able to reel in yellow bullhead, walleye, northern pike, and bluegill throughout the year.

The lake has 2,800 acres that are open to fishing. There is also a boat launch just north of the campground, if you need to get a vessel from your rig to the water. Fishing is also great from the shore in the RV campground. There is no rental gear, although you’ll find a number of bait shops nearby. There is a fish cleaning station located near the boat launch, should you want to prep dinner.

Off-Season

Walking and Snowshoeing

The park does not have any dedicated hiking trails. However, the roads leading through the park are excellent for lakeside strolls throughout the year. There are over two miles of walking routes leading along the shore of Lake Madison.

If you visit the park during the winter, you can bring snowshoes and explore between the trees of the forests surrounding Lake Madison. Bald eagles visit the park during the winter with their young, as well as white tailed deer, foxes, and badgers.

Ice Fishing

Walker’s Point Recreation Area is a great spot for ice fishing. Fish remain active throughout the winter. Lake Madison usually freezes over by late January, although there may be enough ice earlier in the season. Northern pike remain abundant throughout the winter, and you’ll also have a good chance of reeling in walleye.

The park does not guarantee the safety of the ice, so head out onto the frozen waters at your own peril. Ice conditions can change quickly, so try to get the latest reports before fishing.

Birdwatching

Eastern South Dakota is an excellent area for bird watching, with a wide range of native birds and many that migrate throughout the year.

During winter, you might be able to spot bald eagles as they move through the area. They often are accompanied by young hatchlings. You’ll also be able to see a wide range of waterfowl as they migrate in the spring and fall.

South Dakota has a number of active birdwatching groups. Consult their websites to find more information on the species in the area, as well as for field guides and bird checklists.

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