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Find the top rated cross country skiing trails in South Dakota, whether you're looking for an easy short cross country skiing trail or a long cross country skiing trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a cross country skiing trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
|Trail Image||Trail Name||States||Length||Surface||Rating|
Named in honor of the former South Dakota governor who crusaded for the trail before his death in a plane crash in 1993, the George S. Mickelson Trail runs through the heart of the Black Hills,...
|SD||109 mi||Crushed Stone||
The Sioux Falls trail system, sometimes referred to as the Sioux Falls River Greenway, forms a loop of nearly 30 miles of paved, multi-use pathways that link many of the city’s parks and green spaces....
We are from northeast TN and spent part of our 20 hours in Sioux Falls riding about 20 miles of the trail. Our first impressions were the friendliness of the people and the cleanliness of the trails, the adjoining parks and even the trailer park on the southwest side. Having never been to this city before we have a great impression.
With a free day during our dude’s trip “Out West”, we snagged the chance to ride 33 miles from Dumont to Hill City. We rented our hybrid bikes at the first-rate, family owned rental company in Hill City. Our guide took us via the “backroads” route to Dumont where she entertained us with trail stories and local history…. what a great start! Dumont’s TH was nicely unassuming with clean restrooms & potable water. We crossed the road and started our southerly journey 18-mile downhill. This section of the trail was our favorite. We wound through the valleys of fragrant wildflowers, tall dark pines, gently running streams and exposed rocky slopes. Our lunch stop was by Rochford’s TH which is south of the town across from the fire department. We switchbacked up to the Rochford Mall (a must stop) for a meal of pre-packaged sandwiches, frozen burritos and some cold sodas. Continuing downhill we crossed the signature trestle over Rapid Creek but we knew the good times were going to end and it did at the Mystic TH. The uphill grade is gentle and doable but there are no flat recovery sections, but you can stop “to take pictures” at Tunnels A & B. After the “real” summit, the trial runs downhill through prairie-like areas toward Hill City. Note: at the intersection of E. Main Street, cross the street and ride the Walnut Ave. sidewalk in front of the railroad museum until you re-enter the trail behind the Quality Inn. When you finish, hang around Hill City where you can goof around for a while and enjoy a well-earned drink & meal at one of their many fine restaurants.
My wife and I bikepacked the trail from Deadwood to Edgemont. We took two days with a camp stop at Crooked Creek RV Park in Hill City. (We had planned to use the Oreville Forest Service campgroud, but Crooked Creek is right on the trail and, since it was unseasonably warm, the prospect of using the shower was too good to pass up.) Stopping there made the first day about 50 miles and the second 59 miles.
The Mickelson Trail is terrific. We most liked the sections away from roads, but even when the trail is close to roads it is so much more relaxing than riding on the shoulder. The surface is mostly pretty firm although it rained hard the night we spent in Hill City and there were a few placed that had washed a little, but it was no problem. We were in bikepacking mode and carried too much water. The periodic trail heads and rest shelters are great for stretch and snack stops.
In all, a great experience and a great trail.
Another great section starting from Mystic trailhead. Nice scenery, tunnel, including a great little falls to explore. Mystic trailhead has a bike tool air station which we thought was pretty darn nice to provide. Something we've only seen along Urban trails. Thank You SD for a great experience.
Great green space bike path. We're from Wisconsin and stopped over to ride the trail last week. Well planned and a jewel for the city.
We have narrow tire bikes with Gatorskin tires and found the surface an easy ride. Some soft spots. It's a climb from Hill City to Red Fern where you can refill canteens and find shelter. After Red Fern it's downhill. We rode as far as tunnel 2, mile marker 73, then back. Once you hit Red Fern, it's a welcome downhill all the way back. We enjoyed the trip
We did this trail in sections, doing a 15 mile section out and back each day.
First the pluses. Nice surface, well maintained with fairly good facilities for the whole trail. From Hill city north is interesting and with nice scenery.
South of Hill City most of the trail is beside a highway. Traffic noise not great. At the south end there is about 100yds between the highway and a railroad. The trail is between them. Much of the south end is open country and not a lot of trees.
If you do it make sure you pay the fee and get a pamphlet. Coming into Hill City from the north you'll have trouble following the trail without the pamphlet map. If you start in Edgemont, some info says the TH is on main st. There is no Main St.
My 22 yr old son and I took 2 rides. We stayed at a KOA by Mt. Rushmore/Crazy Horse. We started at Hill City and took off North. The trail was well maintained and the scenery beautiful. I didn't fair as well going with the incline (I guess the altitude was getting to me) so we didn't go far and returned to the trailhead (#8) We did go back the next day to Hill City and headed south to Custer. It is a steady incline for 8.5 miles, then a little bit steeper as you incline another 1.5 up to Crazy Horse (So 10 miles incline) After that down hill into Custer another 6.5 to the trailhead. We ate lunch and headed back to Hill City. As some of the other comments, Go Prepared to hit different weather while on the trail. I got rained on, but my son who was ahead of me a couple of miles did not. It was cool, hot, dry, and wet. There was 1 water station between Hill City and Custer (that I saw) Again, the trail is beautiful and well maintained. The altitude did get to me so the incline was a little tough but welll worth the ride. Be sure to buy the trail pass. There is a bike patrol that checks tags.
We just returned from this beautiful epic trail. We rode the trail from Custer to Deadwood in two days.We stayed in Custer as our base. Highly recommend the Rocket Hotel as a place to stay and its easy access to the trail. We started out heading North from Custer to Mystic. You begin a five mile gentle up hill climb. After ten miles is the welcomed sight of Hill City. Get any items you may need here. This is a larger town and has places to eat, drink and food stores. Most right along the trail path. Heading out of Hill City northbound you will be rolling downhill for about 8 miles before entering the beautiful area of Mystic. There is no town of Mystic. We unaware of this were caught by surprise and were nearing the depletion of our food and water. The next town north is Rochford. We were informed by a native that the trek would take us 8 miles up hill and that the Rochford establishment may or may not be open. We opted to return to base. This required a grueling 9 mile climb back to Hill City. This was the steepest portion of the trail. This was a 4 degree grade up hill. Once we returned to Hill City we restocked our food and had lunch. We returned back to Custer in the early evening. The next day we drove from our base at The Rocket Hotel and traveled to Deadwood and rode the trail from Deadwood to Rochford. This was a great ride and we were well prepared for the journey. All though hilly and some steep grades especially neat Deadwood we found this portion of the trail to be relatively easy compared to the day before. The trail is spectacular from Custer to Deadwood and at every curve the scenery changes. The northern section of the trail is mostly forest. In my opinion. There is no section to start at to make it less hilly as you will climb hills. This trail is rated as easy and we all found it to be more of a intermediate trail.We also had expectations of riding a century ride on the trail and and we were 40 miles short. Primarily due to the missing town of Mystic and questionable food source in Rochford. The 60 miles we did in one day felt like a century ride though. All in all this trail is all it is said to be. There is ample wildlife. We saw Cows, Horse, Wild Turkeys, Deer, Elk,Falcons,Eagles,Green Snakes, Raddle Snake.The trail was lightly traveled on our visit (weekday). The town and surrounding area establishments close up at 9 p.m.. This trail rocked and we rocked 84 miles of it. Highly recommended this gem.
Good surface-flat, lots of trees so you are not walking in the direct sun the entire time.
It took us 7 days of out and backs, but we completed this trail from end to end and back again. This was the most difficult rail trail we have ever ridden on our MT bike tandem, and we have ridden many in the last 20+ years. We stayed at a motel in Hill City, and each day drove our car to a new starting point. The elevation, heat and 2%, 3%, and 4% gravel trail limited our usual mileage of 45+ to closer to mid 30s. If you have the time ride the trail in both directions. It is now our new top destination trail. We are from eastern Pa. and the 1800 mile trip to get there was well worth the effort. Pa. Tandem Team. Roger and Marilyn,70 and 67 years old.
Five riders ranging in ages from 25 to 70 rode the trail in mid July. We took two day to cover the trail staying in Hill City. We also had a chase vehicle to drop and pick us up.
Some of the the hills were challenging but the views and variety across the miles made up for the hard hills. Adequate water stations were important since it was July.
In the first hour out of Deadwood we were spread out over about a mile. The lead rider was in sunshine, the next rider was in rain, the last three enjoyed a brief hail storm, all at the same time.
We would like to ride the trail again all in one day. We only have happy memories.
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