When not celebrating one of the many events happening in the southern Hills, take advantage of these outdoor spaces!
Cold Brook Reservoir
Cold Brook Recreation Area is located about two miles north of Hot Springs. The lake, formed by the Cold Brook Dam, is a popular fishing spot for locals and tourists alike. It boasts a number of pan fish species along with trout and pike. Visitors can canoe or kayak the clear waters or fish from shore. Swimming is also popular and a sandy beach is nestled in the west side of the lake. Campsites and picnicking areas are also available.
Cascade Springs, Creeks and Falls
According to the USDA Forest Service website, Cascade Creek originates at Cascade Springs, the largest single springs in the Black Hills. Its constant 67 degrees Fahrenheit helps make a nearby swimming hole a popular destination for locals and visitors. Cascade Creek has been recognized for many years as an interesting biological feature, including several rare plant species that are only found in South Dakota at this location due to the availability of year-round open water. The Black Hills National Forest manages land adjacent to the creek at J.H Keith Park Cascade Springs Picnic Ground and Cascade Falls Picnic Ground, located approximately six and eight miles, respectively, south of Hot Springs on SD Highway 71.
Whitney Preserve Nature Trail
Whitney Preserve is a 4,383 acre preserve protected by The Nature Conservancy. According the TNC’s website, the preserve is adjacent to Cascade Springs, the largest perennial spring and one of only two warm springs found in the Black Hills. The preserve includes three miles of Cascade Creek. During daylight hours, visitors can walk along a nature trail that is one of the best places in the Black Hills to see birds.
Angustora State Recreation Area
Angustora is a premier location for boating and fishing in the southern Hills. According to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ website, the reservoir features 36 miles of shoreline, and an average depth of 29 feet. Angustora Reservoir has good fishing opportunities and is home to walleye, smallmouth bass, crappie, northern pike, largemouth bass, perch and bluegill. The lake is a popular destination for water-sports enthusiasts and also offers camping.
Cottonwood Springs Lake
Located about five miles west of Hot Springs on U.S. Highway 18, Cottonwood Springs Lake offers fishing, hiking, primitive camping and more on its approximate 600 acres of public water and land. Boating is allowed on the lake, but with electric motors only. Canoes, Kayaks and paddleboards are popular on the lake. The campground is open from May 15 to Sept 15. The campground features 17 sites.