This trestle, now part of the Mickelson Trail, is one of may
rail structructures still standing in the Black Hills.
a trail in the Black Hills could be a walk
through some local
history. Two major trails follow the lines of
old railroads where
at least some of the old railroad artifacts can
still be found along
The George S.
Trail is built on the old roadbed of the
Grand Island & Wyoming
Railroad (later the Burlington Northern Line)
from Edgemont to Deadwood.
It goes through some old rail tunnels and
over more than a few high
trestls. At Mystic the
Mickelson and Deerfield trail share the roadbed
for a distance from Mystic to Slate Creek.
stay on the
Deerfield trail through Slate Canyon you
eventually reach Rapid Creek
starting following the route of the Rapid City,
Black Hills and Western
line better known as the Crouch Line, from west
of Canyon City
to Silver City.
short line ran from Rapid City to Mystic and was
called the crookedest
(or craziest) line in America. SD 44 closely
follows the old railroad
bed from Rapid City to US385 north of Pactola.
The portion between 385
and Silver City is now mostly under the waters
of Pactola Reservoir.
The roadbed west from Silver City
follows along Rapid Creek to
Mystic. In the days of the railroad, trains
crossed the creek
than 100 times in less than 30 miles. The trail
west from Silver City
is now one of the finest hikes in the hills.
Flat and level it's ideal
for family outings.
service in the Black Hills reached its height in
1912 when nearly
a dozen railroads
served the region. They included the Chicago
Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railway;
St. Paul Railroad; Wyoming and Missouri River
Railroad; and the Rapid
Black Hills and Western Railroad. Chicago and
Northwestern Railway Company entered the Hills
at Rapid City
running northwest through Black Hawk,
Piedmont, Tilford, Sturgis
and Whitewood to Deadwood. From Deadwood to Lead
the road was both
and standard gauge and throughout the mining
area narrow gauge
were built to collect the gold ore from the
between Lead and Deadwood was by narrow gauge
trains operated with a
fired steam locomotive. Hourly service was
maintained during the day
Deadwood and Lead by way of Central City.
From Whitewood the line
extended through St. Onge to Belle Fourche to
Fruitdale, Nisland and
& Quincy Railway Company's branch to
Deadwood leaves the main line
at Edgemont and runs north through Custer, Hill City,
and Pluma to Deadwood. From Deadwood to Lead,
through Pluma, narrow
trolley cars were operated at 45 minute
intervals during the
Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad terminated at
Rapid City. The Wyoming
& Missouri River Railroad extended
from Belle Fourche
the coal mining town of Alladin, Wyoming, a
distance of 20 miles.
The Rapid City, Black Hills and Western Railroad
ran from Mystic
where it connects with the Burlington
system east through Pactola
to Rapid City where it connects with the Chicago
and Northwestern and
Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul roads. Passenger
service was given with
steam trains and gasoline motor cars.