Escape to the Lake


NDAD's annual Escape to the Lake adaptive water recreation event provides adults and children with physical disabilities the opportunity to water-ski, take a pontoon ride and enjoy a recreational summer day on a North Dakota lake.

Plans call for Escape to return on Sat., June 18, 2022. For more information, contact NDAD at (800) 532-NDAD (-6323) or email
A poster with an image of a smiling boy water-skiing on adaptive ski sled with the words, "26th Annual ESCAPE to the LAKE, Saturday, June 18, 2022.," featuring a silhouette of a person skiing on adaptive ski sled. "Registration: 10 a.m., Ski Show: 1 p.m. Nelson Lake Recreation Area near Center, N.D. Open to anyone with a physical disability who would like to water-ski." The bottom of the poster features the logos of the event organizer, NDAD, and other event participants /sponsors, including Aberdeen Aqua Addicts Water Ski Team, MDU Resources Foundation, Slope Electric Cooperative, Kirkwood Bank & Trust, Sporting Chance North Dakota, Southgate Casino Bar & Grill, Roughrider Electric Cooperative, Operation Round Up, First Western Bank & Trust, Capital Electric Cooperative and Pub 21.

Escape to the Lake is held at Nelson Lake near Center, northwest of Bismarck and Mandan. Nelson Lake's water is safely heated by the nearby power plant, thus enabling a more comfortable experience for those participants who may have varying physical challenges.

The event is open to anyone with a physical disability who is a resident of North Dakota or one of its bordering communities in a surrounding state.

Each year, between 30 and 60 individuals with disabilities participate in Escape to the Lake, with family members, friends and other caregivers along for the fun.  Participants enjoy a complimentary lunch as well as the camaraderie and friendships that develop during the day or renew from past events.

Learn more about Escape to the Lake's history.

Downloads for media use
NDAD logo
Escape to the Lake 2022 logo
Escape to the Lake 2022 poster
Escape Photo #1
Escape Photo #2
Escape Photo #3
Escape Photo #4
Escape Photo #5
Escape Photo #6

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Tim Heckelsmiller
Tim Heckelsmiller of Bismarck has end-stage renal disease, and he's also experienced strokes. 
NDAD provides Tim with co-pays for medications and also pays for transit rides. Read more about him beginning soon in NDAD Success Stories. ...
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