Spend some time outdoors at Roy Lake State Park near Lake City in any season.

“Roy Lake State Park recently took over the Roy Lake Resort on the property,” said former assistant park manager Nathan Tolle. “Ever since we’ve taken over, we’ve poured energy into renovating every single cabin and suite we have to offer, including the convenience store.”

At the store, referred to as the Lodge, browse the gift shop for souvenirs, food, drinks, or bait.

“From there we rent out canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, pontoons, and fishing boats. Yard games can be checked out from the Lodge for free,” said Tolle.

Tolle says rentals at Roy Lake are cost effective with fishing boats available for $75 for four hours and $135 for eight. A pontoon goes for $135 for four hours and $200 for eight, making it a great option for an adventure on a budget.

“The summer is when people really love to take advantage of our kayaks, canoes, fishing boats, and pontoons,” said Tolle. “When they hear the price of the pontoon and boats, their eyes light up.”

Equipment for the disc golf course and snowshoes can also be checked out like the yard games. One of the main activities at the park is fishing.

Along with renting boats to get onto the water, visitors can try fishing from designated shorelines. Soon Roy Lake is expecting a new fishing pier.


Located near the Lodge, the recently renovated modern cabins and suites offer space for groups who want more than just the space to sleep. Inside, guests have access to a kitchenette, private bathroom, and a living room.

For those in simpler lodging options like the camping cabins and campgrounds, there are some amenities, too.


In the busy season, the Lodge is open seven days a week. In the off seasons, it is available Friday to Sunday.

“We have comfort stations to allow people who are just camping in their tents or cars to take showers in a nice, heated restroom,” said Tolle.

Camping cabins offer a place to rest at night for guests who would like to spend all their time outside fishing, hiking, swimming at one of the two swim beaches, and more.

“The decks overlook the wonderful views we have from the cabins.” -Nathan Tolle

Native American History

Tolle shared that Sica Hollow State Park, a common hiking spot to visit when staying at Roy Lake, was once Native American sacred and haunted land. He explained that the iron-rich soil would cause the natural springs in the area to run red, appearing to be bleeding. The park is known to be mysterious and beautiful.

Across a bridge and on a little island is a short walking trail for those wanting to explore the park more. But the favorite hiking spot for Roy Lake guests is a short drive away.

Sica Hollow State Park is a place to dive into the Native American history and explore the naturally beautiful environment. The hiking and horseback riding trails are available in the summer, but the fall offers something special both at Sica Hollow and Roy Lake.

“During the fall time, we have a lot of people from out of state, mostly down south,” said Tolle.

People from different environments come to watch as the leaves change and begin to fall down to the ground in warm, autumn colors at Roy Lake.

“And Sica Hollows is well known around here for being the number one spot for fall colors. It’s unique and down low in a valley,” said Tolle. “There’s a wide variety of insects and tree species that live there but not anywhere else in South Dakota. It’s a beautiful time of the year.”

As the months turn colder, the cabins will close, leaving the suites and a few RV sites open for those who want to explore and ice fish in the winter.

From December 1 to March 23, visitors get a 25% discount on stays at the park.

“Ice fishing is the number one winter activity that people do on Roy Lake,” explained Tolle. “During the winter, we can have anywhere from two to five dozen ice shacks on the lake.

For more information, visit GFP.SD.GOV.

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