Lewis & Clark Lake
The smallest of the four reservoirs, Lewis and Clark Lake has a charm all its own. Beautiful chalky bluffs line the shore near Gavins Point Dam at Yankton. The lake has become a hot spot for sailing enthusiasts, whose brightly colored masts decorate the skyline. They share the waters with pleasure boaters, skiers and anglers.
A full-service marina caters to the thousands of water enthusiasts who flock to the lake each summer. Sandy beaches, lakeshore camping and nearby services make the area a popular vacation destination.
It was in this area, at Calumet Bluff, that Lewis and Clark had their first meeting with the Yankton Sioux in 1804. Today, the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center, located on a bluff overlooking Gavins Point Dam, offers exhibits on the river's natural resources, the people who have lived along its banks, and Lewis and Clark's expedition.
A paved bike trail leads from Lewis and Clark Lake into the town of Yankton. (Of course, you can drive into town, too.) Here, you can spend time touring a historic district filled with the majestic homes of steamboat captains and pioneering entrepreneurs. One home, the Cramer-Kenyon, a Queen Anne-style beauty, is open for tours.
Another place of interest to history buffs is the replica of the Dakota Territorial Capitol. The plain two-story structure stands on the banks of the Missouri River, a reminder that Yankton served as Dakota Territory's first seat of government.
On either end of Lewis and Clark Lake sit two natural segments of Missouri River. These narrow, winding waters more closely resemble what Lewis and Clark would have seen as they came up the Mighty Mo.
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