Travel by boat to this secluded nature area and enjoy bird watching.
Big Stone Island is a Nature Area on an island, which has also been known as Kite Island and Big Island. There was an expedition to the Big Stone Lake region in 1823. The expedition was led by a geologist, William Keating, and Major Stephan Log. Upon arrival, they met a Native American Village. There were many hotels along the shore in the 1800s and into the early 1900s, and the island also had a brothel. Excursion boats took people to and from the island. A story tells about angry women that wanted to stop the boats taking passengers to the island, and they reportedly burned and sank a boat. Many of these resorts were abandoned, but the military would practice take-offs and landings on the island during World War ll.
Today, it is a 100-acre nature area acting as a natural refuge for various birds and wildlife. The only way to access the island is by boat, canoe, or kayak. Big Stone Island State Nature Area is open year-round, and there is no entrance fee. It is located 4 miles north of Big Stone City off South Dakota State Highway 109 to Rearing Ponds Access Area. Visitors can bird watch, go canoeing, fishing, and hiking, but keep in mind that there are no maintained trails or facilities.