Sylvan Lake is in for a makeover

Local News

CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. (KELO) — Known for it’s iconic landscape, Sylvan Lake at Custer State Park could soon be getting a makeover. Right now, a master plan is in the works.

Visitors from all over come to see Sylvan Lake, here at Custer State Park. However, park officials say it’s attractions are being loved to death.

“When you think of Custer State Park or you see it in a magazine or anything like that, you usually see a picture of Sylvan Lake and that’s not just us with our marketing efforts that’s across the board, private businesses, state tourism,” Visitor Services Manager at Custer State Park, Kobee Stalder said.

Stalder says Sylvan Lake brings in over a million visitors each year. As a whole, Custer State Park brings in 1.8 million.

“We really want to show off that area but at the same time we understand that we are probably at max capacity in terms of how many people we can handle up there a year and everything like that so is there a balance? And that’s what we are trying to find,” Stalder said.

The lead designer on the master plan, Patrick Wyss, says there are four major concerns. The general overview, visitor management, trail erosion, and parking.

“Right now cars are parked on shoulders. it’s unsightly, it’s unsafe. Children will run through cars across state highway, but we are showing some ways to more efficiently park cars and have the roads be for driving,” Wyss said.

Through surveys and workshops, the park and Wyss Associates listened to what the public also wants to see for the future of the lake.

“We have a lot of good input. Now we are going to be refining our recommendations and taking that back to the public before we go to the commission to submit our report,” Wyss said.

“From the comments that we received, a lot of people said no don’t do anything, don’t touch it, Sylvan Lake is perfect the way it is. And we agree with that, it’s all about conservation and preservation,” Stalder said.

Wyss Associates says the Sylvan Lake master plan will be completed mid-January.

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