On the bank of the Missouri River in Chamberlain, South Dakota, sits a beautiful little park with fantastic views of the water. During our visit the dogs stopped periodically to look out over the huge river, taking it all in. I was glad they got to appreciate one of America's biggest waterways spread out before them.
We were on the eastern side of the river. When we pulled up, the girls were thrilled to see squirrels darting through the trees in this foreign land.
The American Creek Recreation Area was more like a big park. The Missouri River made up a large border of it. A small beach sat at one end. Unfortunately dogs weren't allowed on the beach, but the girls didn't seem to mind. They happily explored the rocky shoreline instead, searching for critters and briefly testing the water. The river was much too cold for swimming during our visit anyways.
Covered picnic tables were scattered around the area. Benches positioned around the edge of the park looked out over the water. The girls had fun watching the river and then turning their attention to squirrels in the trees.
The dogs were having a fantastic time exploring the grounds. There were plenty of things to sniff and lots of trees to investigate. A playground sat near the middle of the park.
The dogs happily meandered around the recreation area, which was small but spacious. After walking around for a bit, we were ready for lunch. We chose one of the covered tables to eat at.
The water flowed just a short distance away from us. Lunch with a view of the Missouri River was a lovely idea. We all enjoyed our meal, but the girls were too distracted by chattering squirrels to eat much.
After our picnic we continued exploring the recreation area. Extending out over the water was the large Chamberlain Fishing Pier. We walked out onto it and looked across the river.
The girls seemed to appreciate the true breadth of the river from up on the pier. They gazed down at the gently rippling water just below them, then looked out across the Missouri and took in the extensive size of it. They really liked spending time on the pier.
A short walking path led from the recreation area to the neighboring American Creek Campground. We followed it and took our time hanging out near the river along the way.
The dogs split their attention and energy between the park's two main attractions -the largest river in South Dakota and the squirrels that lived near it. Both were equally fascinating to the girls.
The wind was chilly near the shore, but nobody seemed to mind. It was too beautiful along the banks of the giant Missouri River to care that the sun had disappeared. This was a great place to spend some time, watching the hypnotic water gently flowing as far as the eye could see.
This was the largest body of water that my dogs had ever seen up close. Maggie seemed especially interested in the river and even a little taken aback by its magnitude. The girls watched the water as well as the squirrels running around the park. It was a charming place despite the chilly weather.
We walked out across the Chamberlain Pier for a second time and gazed up and down the length of the river. We stood on the pier for a while, taking it all in. The park was quiet during our visit, making this a very serene place to enjoy the tranquility of the water.
It was difficult to tear ourselves away from this enchanting park. Eventually, we had lingered long enough, and it was time to head out. The girls didn't protest. This place was magical but the chill coming off the cold river was beginning to bite -a frosty wind was picking up. It was time to call it a day on our visit to the Missouri River.
This had been a lovely place to spend an afternoon by the river. American Creek Recreation Area was only a short distance from Interstate 90, and in no time at all we were back on the road to adventure.