Water Water Everywhere
Along the undulating hills of the Coteau des Prairies, wooded coulees and more than 30 glacial lakes punctuate the landscape, within a 20 to 30 minute drive of Sisseton.
The land is one of the most unique physiographic regions in eastern South Dakota. Over 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, a glacier hundreds of feet thick pushed up a moraine of glacial deposits almost 900 feet high forming a flatiron-shaped plateau. As the ice sheet receded, thick chunks broke off forming kettle lakes and pot holes. Melt waters from the ice sheet formed huge ancient Lake Agazzi.
The lake’s great outflow drained south through what became Traverse and Big Stone Lakes forming the continental divide at the eastern border of the state. Humans followed the receding ice with remains found in the area dating back to 7,000 B.C.E.
After the Ice Age, the terrain gradually evolved into a rolling landscape with tall seasonal prairie grasses, tree lined glacial lakes and wooded coulees providing natural habitat for wildlife. For centuries Dakota Indian people lived at home on this land with its clear lakes, fish, waterfowl, herds of buffalo, deer and other wild game. The Dakota people called the high plateau He Ipaha. In the 1700’s explorers and fur traders from New France re-named it the Coteau des Prairies.
Today, state parks, national wildlife refuges and state wildlife areas protect and preserve the remarkably beautiful high Coteau des Prairies and allow visitors to blaze a new trail to this place of open fields and refreshing lakes.
Roll over the map below to get information about the nearby lakes