Mina Lake Recreation Area in South Dakota
Camp South Dakota: We are speaking with Becky today about the camping opportunities at Mina Lake Recreation Area. How are you doing today?
Becky: Wonderful. It’s a little cold out, but you still can come out camping if you like.
Camp South Dakota: Perfect. Who doesn’t like a little bit of winter camping? Maybe if the temperatures got a little higher.
Becky: Yes. That would help.
Camp South Dakota: All right. Well, we’ll kind of get into the questions here that we wanted to ask you. When was Mina Lake Recreation Area started?
Becky: Well, actually the dam that created the lake was built in 1933 by the CCC. And it didn’t actually become a State Park area until about 1969.
Camp South Dakota: Okay. So, yeah, definitely has some history to it then.
Becky: It does, yeah.
Camp South Dakota: Great. And then is that when the campgrounds were started as well?
Becky: Yes. That’s when Game, Fish, and Parks officially took it over as a State Recreation Area.
Camp South Dakota: Perfect. And so, when people are there, camping for the weekend, what are usually the most popular activities in the Park?
Becky: Boating is probably our number one activity at Mina Lake, but we also have a really nice hiking trail that takes you not just along the lakeside, but also through a wooded section of the Park. We’ve got two playground areas. We have a really great day use area that we see a lot of families coming out to use for either family reunions or just picnics. We’ve had wedding receptions out here. We have a nice, little beach, so swimming is popular.
Becky: And then we also provide a lodge that attracts a lot of hunters in the fall.
Camp South Dakota: Oh yeah, I would imagine that is a big draw.
Camp South Dakota: Perfect. And so, where is Mina Lake Recreation Area located, kind of what town is it by?
Becky: The nearest town would actually be considered Mina. The nearest large town is Aberdeen, South Dakota. And Mina Lake Recreation area is located 11 miles west of Aberdeen, off of US Highway 12. So, it’s right off a major highway and it’s about a mile north of that.
Camp South Dakota: Okay, perfect. And so, if someone is there for the weekend and they’re looking to kind of I guess venture out a little bit, what are some of the attractions kind of in the area that would be worth checking out?
Becky: Well, one nearby attraction to check out would be Richmond Lake Recreation Area, which is another State Park right in the area. There are also three beautiful golf courses and one of our really unique attractions in Aberdeen is called Wylie Park and Storybook Land. So, if you’ve got kids that are really into the Wizard of Oz or even parents that are into the Wizard of OZ, or any of that type of fun items, Wylie Park is the place to go.
Camp South Dakota: Awesome. Yeah, I’ve definitely heard about that and kind of looked into it. It looks like a really cool castle and a fun place for kids to be.
Becky: It is. And they’ve also got things like a go-kart track and miniature golf and bumper boats, and all sorts of fun stuff for the whole family.
Camp South Dakota: Awesome. And so, kind of bring it back to the recreation area, what kind of campsites do you have? Is there like RV and tent?
Becky: Yes. We don’t have any tent only sites. All of our sites are electrical and we have 38 campsites at Mina Lake. They’re nice, large campsites, so we can fit pretty much any size motor home on these sites.
Camp South Dakota: Okay, perfect. That makes it easy for people.
Becky: Yeah. And we upgraded, so all the sites have 50amp service.
Camp South Dakota: Perfect. So, yeah, pretty much anyone can come out.
Camp South Dakota: Great. And so, I guess last two questions for you. If you could only spend one hour in the Park, what would you do?
Becky: I would probably go hiking. If I only had an hour, our trail is only about a mile long, so you’d actually finish it up in less than an hour. But it is a beautiful trail and allows for some great bird watching.
Camp South Dakota: Absolutely. Cool. And last question here. If you could spend just one night at Mina Lake Recreation Area, which campsite would you choose and why?
Becky: Oh, my goodness. That’s a tough one and I’ve actually thought about that many times as I’ve gone through the campground. If I was staying here with my family, which one would I get? And it’s a really, really tough choice. I think one of our most popular sites would be Site 22, which is a lakeside site. So, you actually just walk down about ten feet from your site and you’re at the lake if you like to do some fishing.
Camp South Dakota: Nice. Yeah, that’s definitely, I would assume, quite the attraction. I think everyone likes to be as close lakeside as they can be.
Camp South Dakota: Cool. Well, thank you so much for the insights. We really appreciate it.
Becky: Oh, I am very happy to talk about our beautiful parks here in South Dakota.