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At the fringes of the unique Black Hills, or Paha Sapa in the Lakota language, is the Angostura Reservoir. Part of the Black Hills and Badlands western region of South Dakota, Angostura Reservoir is surrounded by stunning landscape and the rich history of the Old West. In this region, ripe with legend, the mountains rise up out of the Great Plains, shifting and changing as they roll on and attracting thousands of people to their natural and monumental wonders.
The Angostura Recreation Area alone attracts throngs of visitors to its one-of-a-kind amenities each year. Lake Angostura's clear waters and sandy beaches offer cool respite in the summer heat. Swimmers and boaters alike will flock to the water eagerly. And anglers will be thrilled at the lake's excellent fishery. The lake is particularly well-known for walleye, crappie and smallmouth bass with healthy populations of bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike and perch. Fish cleaning stations and easy access to the lake via boat ramps and fishing docks are conveniences any angler will appreciate. Angostura Lake's 4,706 surface acres were impounded by a Bureau of Reclamation dam in 1949. The purpose of the lake's construction was to create a water supply for the irrigation of nearby farm lands.
The dam was built across the Cheyenne River, a major waterway which forms part of the Lakota Nation's tribal lands in an arid part of South Dakota. Visitors will thus get the experience of pristine beauty but with all the modern conveniences you expect of a recreation area. Take your pick from the many campgrounds or cabins available. Enjoy a day of picnicking with your family. Play horseshoes, volleyball, or golf or watch the children at the playgrounds. Miles of trails invite you to take an invigorating hike, or go biking. During the summer you may find a host of interpretive and educational opportunities held on the grounds and Nature Day Camps offered each month throughout the summer will keep your young ones engaged in the fascination of the lake's natural environs. Participate in programs that teach you and open your eyes. Learn about the great buffalo in the lives of Native Americans, become a real tracker and learn how pick up clues to track animals, or take a guided evening hike to see what life comes alive at the sun's setting. Birdwatchers will not be disappointed. Migrating water birds along the eastern edge of the Black Hills stop at the lake, and so do birds that migrate near the Cheyenne River.
Just 10 miles northwest you will find yourself in Hot Springs, considered the "cultural capital of the Black Hills". Explore the creativity of local artisans or visit world-class art galleries. Experience the vibrancy of South Dakota talent at annual art festivals. In addition to the wholesome fun you will have at Angostura Reservoir, Hot Springs offers a host of other outdoor activities such as winter sports when the seasons change, or hunting for elk, wild turkey, antelope, and deer. And for those who will want to stay forever, Hot Springs has small town statistics but active and energetic residents, combined with friendliness and warmth. Other major sites near Angostura Reservoir will awe you. You will want to visit the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, a phenomenal museum and world's largest mammoth research facility. Then there is the Wind Cave National Park with its magnificent cave, prairies, and pine forests and the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary with its 11,000 acres of horse range. For history buffs, less than an hour away, is the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Your visit to the Angostura Reservoir, in its backdrop of awe-inspiring landscapes will be like no other. Here, with the combination of healthy sun, caressing breezes, miles and miles of vast, open land, and a beautiful expanse of water lying before you, you will leave here with a special glow and laughter lingering at the top of your throat.
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