Exploring South Dakota’s Outdoor Treasures: Biking and Hiking Trails
South Dakota, known for its diverse landscapes and historic landmarks, offers a plethora of trails for biking and hiking enthusiasts. The state’s natural beauty, from the rugged Badlands to the serene Black Hills, provides a backdrop for some of the most scenic trails in the country.
The George S. Mickelson Trail is a premier destination for cyclists. Stretching 109 miles through the heart of the Black Hills, this trail follows the historic Deadwood to Edgemont Burlington Northern rail line. With gentle slopes and well-maintained surfaces, it caters to riders of all skill levels.
Another notable route is the Sioux Falls Bike Trails, a 26-mile loop that encircles the city of Sioux Falls. This trail system connects parks, scenic views of the Big Sioux River, and an array of local attractions.
For hikers, the Black Elk Peak trail, formerly known as Harney Peak, is a must-visit. As the highest point east of the Rockies, it offers panoramic views from its summit. The trail spans 7.1 miles and is considered moderately challenging.
The Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway, while primarily a driving route, also features several short trails that allow hikers to experience the Badlands’ unique topography up close.
Q: Do I need a permit to hike or bike on South Dakota trails?
A: Most trails do not require a permit, but some state parks may charge entrance fees.
Q: Are there any guided tours available?
A: Yes, guided tours are available for some trails, especially within the national parks.
Q: What should I bring on my biking or hiking trip?
A: It’s essential to bring water, snacks, appropriate clothing, and a map or GPS device.
Trail: A path or track laid down for walking or made by continual treading.
Scenic Byway: A designated road recognized for its natural or cultural significance.
Summit: The highest point of a hill or mountain.