PIERRE, S.D. – At this Great Place in South Dakota, visitors are able to explore the great outdoors and soak up a bit of the area’s history.

Lake Herman State Park is situated in southeast South Dakota where thousands of years ago melting glacial ice formed a 1,350-acre lake. Today, the state park, located on a peninsula, offers a great view of the lake, recreational opportunities and a taste of history.

It was long before the days of RVing and camping in the modern way that this area was used for camping. Even before the arrival of white settlers, Native Americans used this location for shelter and refuge while traveling to the nearby Pipestone quarries.

However, one of the first permanent settlers here was the Herman Luce family. His cabin, which still stands in the park, was built in 1871 from oak logs and served as a United States Land Office. In 1977, the Herman Luce Cabin was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Canoe and kayak rentals are available for those who want to explore the lake and the surrounding scenery. Both a campground (with 72 campsites) and camping cabins (2 cabins, each sleeps 4 people) are available, along with a ski beach, playground, boat ramp, and the ability to check out fishing gear on site.

The park is located just outside of Madison. Reservations for camping can be made at www.campsd.com or by calling 1-800-710-2267. Campsites are open May-October and the camping cabins are open year-round.

South Dakota’s Great Places weekly press release series is a project of the South Dakota Department of Tourism, designed to highlight places in South Dakota that are unique to travelers and residents alike.