Oahe Downstream Recreation Area's three campgrounds give visitors a variety of recreational opportunities, from boating to hiking to disc golf. The Corps of Engineers began building the dam in 1948 and in 1962 started generating electricity. It's one of the largest constructed reservoirs in the United States, measuring 231 miles connecting the capital cities of South Dakota and North Dakota. Reserving a space to stay overnight is easily accomplished using the online system.
Three camping options are offered at Oahe Downstream Recreation Area: campsites with electricity, camping cabins and a picturesque lodge. Each of the one-room cabins sleep four in a set of bunk beds and a double bed. The Oahe Downstream group lodge was constructed within the recreation area in 2006. With shoreline access, guests are now treated to a beautiful view and private shoreline for swimming, canoeing, or other types of water recreation. The lodge is equipped with a full kitchen with cookware, serving utensils, and appliances and is separated from the "great" room" by a 16 foot serving bar. The 25 x 30 foot "Great" room provides comfortable seating for up to 65 guests. Tables and folding chairs are available on-site. Large grassy areas are also maintained around the lodge and provide ample room for those wishing to tent. A large campfire ring is situated near the river for evening cooking or socializing.
Oahe Downstream Recreation Area is one of the South Dakota state parks that offers the opportunity for visitors to see the majestic bald eagle. During the winter, bird watchers can view the eagles that roost in the treetops below the dam. They typically perch within 50 feet of the riverbank in tall cottonwood trees. Among the park amenities are a boat ramp, beach, bicycle rentals, fishing dock and fish-cleaning station. At the privately operated Oahe Marina & Resort, you'll find cabins, rental camping trailers, convenience store and fuel.