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Bennett County: Wildlife in Action


PIERRE, S.D. – Make a stop in Bennett County in southwestern South Dakota and discover the Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge. 

Established in 1935, it serves as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. The refuge lies in the Lake Creek valley and includes 16,410 scenic acres of native sand hills, sub-irrigated meadows, impounded fresh water marshes, and mixed grass prairie uplands.

The refuge serves as an important habitat for migrating Canada geese, other waterfowl, Sand Hill cranes, shorebirds and Neotropical migrants. Providing critical wintering habitat for the High Plains Trumpeter Swan population is a primary goal. Construction of a new visitor contact room provides displays and murals depicting typical habitats and wildlife to the refuge. Popular activities at the park include a scenic auto route and the Pelican Island Walking Trail. 

The walking trail provides a rare opportunity to view nesting American White Pelicans and several species of waterfowl and shorebirds, both resident and migrants in season. Bird watching is a favored activity at the refuge and with high species diversity, there is much for the eyes to see. Public hunting and fishing at the refuge are popular sportsman activities. 

Recreation activities include swimming, boating, water skiing, picnicking, camping, fishing and hunting. Call (605) 685-6508 for more information on Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge and Bennett County. The Uniquely South Dakota series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight unique aspects and attractions in each of South Dakota’s 66 counties.