This is the entrance to one of
the tunnels on the Mickelson Trail, one of the Black Hills' longest
trails at more than 100 miles. The Mickelson Trail, which follows
an abandoned rail right of way, passes through several tunnels
and over many trestles. It is suitable for all ages and open to hikers,
cyclists and horseback riders. It is closed to motorized vehicles.
Hiking & Backpacking
Being in the hotel business, we naturally don't encourage overnight backpacking.
There's nothing like a hot bath, an excellent meal and a good night's rest
after a day of vigorous hiking. Were that everyone so thought?
As it stands now, the Black Hills
National Forest has more than 260 miles of developed trails, Custer State
Park, Wind Cave National Park and the Badlands have nearly as many miles.
That makes more than 400 miles of trails altogether.
the Black Hills there are about 75 different marked trails. Keystone is
an ideal jumping off point for the many trails in the Norbeck Wildlife
Preserve. These include:
|Lost Cabin Trail
|Grizzly Bear Creek
|Willow Creek Loop
The 110-mile Centennial Trail and the new Mickelson Trail also pass near
The Black Hills have been called the friendly
mountains because virtually every point is accessible to hikers. For instance
each of the 17 peaks of more than 7,000 feet can be climbed without special
equipment and the views from that elevation are nothing short of spectacular.
Many trails have historical significance.
One of our favorites is the Flume Trail near Sheridan Lake. This trail,
rated as "easy", follows the route of an old gold mining flume that once
went from Spring Creek near Sheridan Lake to Rockerville. It is an interesting
trail because it is nearly level and passes through two very narrow tunnels
carved out by the flume makers more than 100 years ago. You can still see
traces of the flume on the trail today.
Information about hiking can be obtained
from the South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks which publishes a trail atlas for $10. The Black Hills National Forest also publishes a trail guide at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/blackhills/maps/trails.shtml. Information about specific trails can be found at http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/blackhills/recreation/trail_guide.shtml.
The new Black Hills National Forest Service office on US Highway 16
just south of Rapid City also has numerous maps and publications
concerning trails. Much of the material is free.
Custer State Park trails can be found at Custer State Park Trail Guide. There are also trails within Wind Cave National Park and the Badlands National Monument.