FOMNRR Projects and Activities

Frost Trail - A new window on the MNRR

NOTE: The Frost Trail will be closed from Nov 1, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017 due to a construction project that is utilizing part of the trail.

Access to the Missouri National Recreational River (MNRR) through public access sites can be a challenge. Public access sites can be spread far apart and are not always at the best places for experiencing the MNRR. The FOMNRR is trying to change that. Recently the FOMNRR began discussing trail development on a six mile stretch of the river from Clay County Park near Vermillion, SD to the Newcastle-Vermillion Bridge south of Vermillion. There are several areas of public land on this stretch of river that would make a good site for public trails.

photo credit: Michael Ewald


The Frost Trail is the first of several trails that the FOMNRR will help develop on this river segment. This trail begins near the intersection of SD Highway 19 and Dakota Street and continues south to the Newcastle-Vermillion Bridge. The trail traverses through riparian woodlands and along the grassy bank of the MNRR. The Gunderson Backwater comes into view along a portion of the trail. With a one-way length of approximately 2.2 miles, the trail has an auxiliary trailhead near its southern terminus to enable shorter hikes on either side of the trail system.

photo credit: Michael Ewald


The trail was built during two trail building events this spring and summer. It is designated for hiking and other foot traffic, such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Improvements for 2018 will include trailhead signs and interpretive signage along the trail to inform trail users about river features and history.

Along with the FOMNRR, the National Park Service, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, and Lewis and Clark Regional Water System are important partners in creating the Frost Trail.


Download a map of the Frost Trail

River Odyssey for School and Community Outreach and Education (ROSCOE)
ROSCOE (River Odyssey for School and Community Outreach and Education) program generates interest and public awareness for the MNRR as a national park in southeast South Dakota and northeast Nebraska. The FOMNRR plays an important role in this program by providing funds and assistance necessary for the three-month Roscoe Junior Ranger Academy to take place every summer. The academy engages young people in a variety of topics, activities, and experiences for the kids to explore and learn about the national park including birds, trees, aquatic species, prairies, plants, river, and culture.

2017 Junior Ranger Program Class

Missouri River Watershed School Festival
The Missouri River Watershed School Festival is held at Riverside Park in Yankton in May of each year. Several hundred area high school students from Nebraska and South Dakota attend the event each year. The goal of the Festival is to provide students the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of natural resource and conservation topics from 20 different hands-on presentations. The event is tremendously popular with teachers and students.

Yankton Area Missouri River Cleanup
The Yankton Area Missouri River Clean Up is held in May of each year. The river clean up is based out of the boat ramp at Riverside Park. Volunteers gather to collect trash, lumber, tires, and scrap metal along both sides of the Missouri River from Gavins Point Dam to areas just downstream of Yankton. The annual Yankton Area Missouri River Clean Up makes the river cleaner and healthier for people and for fish and wildlife.

Invasive Species Awareness Event
The annual Invasive Species Awareness Event is held in May and/or June of each year at boat ramps and recreation areas above and below Gavins Point Dam. This event is an awareness activity to teach boaters and anglers how they can prevent the spread of invasive species. In the seven years of this event thousands of people have been given information on how to prevent the spread of invasive species, such as zebra mussels and Asian carp. People need to CLEAN, DRAIN, AND DRY their equipment every time they come off the water. The confirmation of a reproducing population of zebra mussels in Lewis and Clark Lake reaffirms the urgent need for this event. The Friends of the Missouri National Recreational River will coordinate with local, state and federal agencies and many other partners to get information out to people about the threat invasive species pose to our waters.

Lake Yankton Outdoor Festival
The Lake Yankton Outdoor Festival will is held at Lake Yankton in June of each year. The event gives people of all ages the opportunity to experience a fun-filled day with many river-related outdoor activities. There are opportunities to learn more about our natural resources. This event will has many activities the whole family will enjoy. It is a day of fun and the Friends of the Missouri National Recreational River hope you will come out.