An adventurous yet popular campsite for the Mandan and Arikara people in the past, West Whitlock recreation area has now become a famous camping spot for modern-day campers and fishermen. The park is named after Mrs. JF Whitelock, whose family once owned these scenic lands. The area is surrounded by natural greenery and amazing landscape that attracts campers and RV enthusiast from all across the country.
People who are looking for wide-open waters filled teeming with many species of fish will definitely enjoy visiting West Whitlock Recreation Area. Situated close to the Lake Oahe Reservoir anglers can boat out to deeper parts of the lake using the park's modern boat launch ramp and enjoy fishing in the vast open waters.
Surrounded by fresh water and amazing natural forests, the area offers a number of adventurous activities including hiking, camping, and boating, nature trails, wildlife watching and of course fishing in the lake waters. In addition to that, thrill seekers also visit Whitlock for adventurous water sport activities such as canoeing, kayaking, swimming and relaxing by the beachfront. The park also features a bait shop and fish cleaning area that supplies all the fishing equipment you need to have a fun day fishing in the open and calm waters of Lake Oahe Reservoir.
Located 18 miles to the west of Gettysburg off US 212 close to Dolphus Peninsula, the West Whitlock recreation area is easily accessible by car, RV, motorhomes, Big Rigs, and even boats. Once inside, the main West Whitlock road will connect you to the various park facilities including picnicking areas, bait shop, boat launch, and various camp sites. Most of the roads are wide and well-maintained, however, in more remote campsites the roads to become narrower and more woody so make sure to check campsites for maximum vehicle size allowed when visiting the park.
There are no specific driving restrictions and you can travel where you like once you’re inside the park. The campsites are not too far away from the entrance and offer parking spaces for your vehicles; however, campers are encouraged to make prior reservations to avoid any sort of mix-up.
West Whitlock Recreational Area offers its guests over 100 campsites with facilities like electric hookups, flush toilets, showers and parking space. The camping sites are also accessible to the disabled offering nearby washroom and shower facilities. Apart from the campsites the park also features two sleeper cabins that have the capacity of accommodating up to four individuals. These cabins are available for reservation all year round while the camp sites are only open from May until September. In addition to these amenities the parks also offer additional facilities to guest including canoe, kayak and paddle board rentals, a fish cleaning station, picnic shelters, vault toilets and snowshoe rentals during winter months. Guests can camp for up to 14 days at a stretch.
West Whitlock Recreational Area looks to provide its guest with many recreational activities to entertain them during the course of their camping holiday. Hiking trails allow guest to have leisurely walks that loop around the lake's high water shoreline offering opportunities to spot wildlife and take in the scenic natural beauty of the surrounding woodlands and lake waters. The most popular hiking trails in West Whitlock Recreational Area is “The Louis Badger Trail”. This trail is around two miles long and is well-maintained which makes for an easy and relaxing hike while enjoying the outdoors.
A lot of visitors come to West Whitlock recreation park to enjoy the amazing boating experience in Lake Oahe that is accessible from the park's designated boat launch ramp. These ramps allow you to safely board your kayak or canoe and take to the waters of Lake Oahe Reservoir, where you and your family can enjoy a peaceful boating experience gazing at panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
West Whitlock Recreational Area is a popular destination for angles of all ages. Anglers can toss in a line and put their skills to the test to catch diverse species of fish. The waters of Lake Ohea Reservoir are teaming with walleye, white bass, sauger, smallmouth bass, northern pike, chinook salmon and perch to name but a few. The park also has its very own fish cleaning stations and bait shop for added convenience to anglers. Fishing enthusiast will greatly enjoy the wide open waters, private fishing spots and diversity of fish species present in West Whitlock Recreational Area. A fishing license is required in order to fish on the reservoir.
There are picnic shelters available on the shore at West Whitlock that can be reserved online or via phone. These picnic shelters at contain facilities like running water, electrical hookups, toilet/ restrooms, and parking space for your vehicles. The picnic sites also have picnic tables are a fire pit area where you can relax and enjoy the views of the surrounding woodlands and lake waters.
The lands around West Whitlock Recreational area have a rich history, glimpses of which can still be viewed around the park grounds. The park offers a replica of an Arikara earth lodge that was found in the park and is a reminder of the many lodges that once spread across this landscape. These lodges were made up of logs of cottonwood, grass and willow branches with each lodge being large enough to accommodate up to 20 people at a time. The people who lived here (the Arikara people), were farmers and grew crops such as beans, corn, squash, tobacco and sunflower. The replica takes you back to those simpler and peaceful times and is a must see when visiting West Whitlock Recreational Area.
During the winter season, West Whitlock Recreational Area offers a number of winter related activities such as cross-country skiing on the Louis Badger Trail. Every year, a large number of winter enthusiasts visit West Whitlock to enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on this almost two mile long trail.