Goat Island is in the middle of the Missouri River along the South Dakota and Nebraska Border. It is in-between Yankton and Vermillion. The closest boat ramp on the South Dakota side is Myron Grove, and Brooky Bottom on the Nebraska side. The island is part of the 59-Mile District of the Missouri National Recreational River.
The 4-mile long island has a storied past. Many locals also know it as Jakes Island, after a Vermillion attorney who raised watermelons and goats on the island. There had been others who claimed ownership over the years, but is currently under the management of the Federal Bureau of Land Management.
It is really a unique portion of the river that surrounds the island. The river is still “wild” in appearance. It has not been channelized, so it is much like the river Lewis and Clark would have encountered. Sand bars are numerous along this portion of the river as well. The flow can vary greatly depending on the amount of water released at the dam.
I had an opportunity to canoe this sections of the river, with a stop at Goat Island. I had never been on such a large river. It is quite the experience to get so close to the river. Some sections are nearly a mile wide, if you get a chance I would encourage you to explore the area.