- Find a Trail
- My TrailLink
- Explore Trails
- About Us
- Get Involved
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|
The Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve is a lovely 1500-acre park and historical site, situated along the Missouri River just to the west of North Sioux City. One of the main attractions of the site...
|SD||6 mi||Crushed Stone||
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||
A short community trail built on a former section of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad in the community of Lake Andes in southern South Dakota, the Lake Andes Rail Trail provides a...
|SD||0.84 mi||Asphalt, Ballast||
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....
I basically live on this trail.
I have the main 19+ mile loop essentially memorized at this stage.
I don't actually know this to be one of the absolute, ten best-overall urban trails in the Midwest...but I'd be shocked to learn it somehow was not.
I sometimes enjoy going up the hill, just north of Falls Park, but usually I do what most others are likely going to prefer as well ie. circumnavigating the loop in a clockwise direction.
Be careful when passing underneath the pedestrian bridge at Yankton Trail Park. Visibility at that spot is very poor; slow down!
This trail is AMAZING!
It's kinda short, and just far enough away to be a little inconvenient, so I took a long time to get out here...and I feel like a fool.
This is an EXCEPTIONALLY beautiful trail. Ordinarily, you'd have to go to a state park to see something this wondrous, and the fact this is an urban trail, kinda just blows me away. The part of Dell Rapids that one can see from the riverside trail, is more-or-less the cosmic epitome of what a picturesque Midwestern small town ought to look like.
If I lived in Dell Rapids, I'd be on this trail like every day.
This is a very pleasant trail, that affords one some fairly spectacular views of Lake Madison.
Two points of which to be aware: The situation where one must cross South Dakota Highwy 34, in orer to proceed from the pulic parking at 8th & Egan, leaves a lot to be desired. I might be inlined to recommend parking on Washington Avenue South, which is to say, on the southen side of highway 34. You lose almost none of the trail this way, and you avoid the stress of crossing the highway.
Additionally, the map is incomplete ie. the leg of the trail that follows alongside highway 19, actually turns east, and goes at least a mile or more farther than what is indicated here.
We rode the entire trail on our recent stay in Rapid City. There’s some construction and one detour the day we rode. Otherwise a fun easy ride. It mostly runs beside Rapid Creek and there are plenty of places to stop and enjoy the serenity of the creek. It runs through the city’s many parks.
The path(s) are intertwined more so than the existing map. Most areas have been upgraded and wind through parks and next to the creek. We really enjoyed the trail!
There’s no way to avoid long climbs on this trail, but it’s worth consulting a topographical map if you want to choose to climb or coast first. We started at the northernmost point of this 108-mile trail, in the “old Western town” of Deadwood, South Dakota (aka a touristy casino town). We began the morning on a paved trail that ended approximately one-quarter mile later. From then on, it was cinder and dirt, but well-maintained and lined with globe streetlamps for the next mile and a half. A narrow creek flowed behind the small homes that lined the trail until we got outside of town.
This was the slowest bike ride we’ve ever taken –it was only a standard 4% railroad incline but it was unrelenting. It took over an hour to go nine miles up the Black Hills, but then it took only 25 minutes to come down with blissfully little pedaling. Once outside of Deadwood, we rode along a mostly shaded trail with a babbling brook and steep cliff walls. In the distance, we saw an occasional odd-shaped white building that we later learned was an old goldmine.
Soon we entered the green Ponderosa Pine Forest and continued until the trail took a sharp switchback and began circumnavigating one of the high Black Hills. About 15 minutes later, we reached the top where we were rewarded with a stunning view of other hills and valleys. A mile or so past this, we turned around and it was an exhilarating descent back to Deadwood, although at times a white-knuckled ride around hairpin turns onto dangerously soft surfaces.
On our afternoon ride, we started in Hill City, another touristy Western town. We set off on this segment of the trail as it wound through pretty mountain meadows and alongside shiny silver slate hillsides. Again, a long climb awaited us, but we prefer to climb first and coast back rather than the reverse. We continued up the path, at one point, having to squeeze past an oncoming dump truck that was depositing fresh crushed stone to resurface the trail. Otherwise, only pinecones littered the trail. While the scenery was stunning, the persistent sound of nearby Highway 38, where cars and trucks barreled past, prevented the experience from being as serene as the morning’s ride. The payoff, however, was the sight of the Crazy Horse Memorial far in the distance.
Lots of breweries and wineries in the area – including one that featured “rhubarb wine.”
We'd read about the Sioux Falls Loop and decided to begin at the southernmost point and ride counterclockwise around the city. We started at Yankton Trail Park, heading east through beautiful parkland for a few miles before turning north at Tuthill Park. Here the trail follows the Big Sioux River, winding along its manicured and tree-lined banks, beside pretty picnic areas and soccer fields that no doubt come alive on the weekends. But it was lovely and quiet during this weekday afternoon; we passed few other bikers on the trail. Comparing the loop to a clock face, we started at 6 o'clock, then at roughly 3 o'clock, we came upon the falls for which the city is named. The falls are more like a scenic series of rocky cascades bordered by grassy parklands and the brick ruins of a former mill. It was very dramatic and beautiful. Immediately north of Falls Park, outside of the loop, is the Smithfield Foods, Inc., a large pork processing plant. Even from a distance of half a mile, the smell was offensive, and we tried to ride past as quickly as possible. We headed uphill (the only hill on the loop) through a small set of switchbacks until the trail flattened again atop a levy that divided the river from lumberyards and light industrial areas on the outside of the loop. At this point, the Big Sioux River looks pretty much like a wide, stagnant, tree-less canal. Plus, the trail circumvents the Sioux Falls Regional Airport from 2 o'clock to 10 o'clock, the whole north end and about a third of the entire loop. When we finally arrived at the small bridge that crossed over to the parking lot where we'd started, we realized that we'd unknowingly started at the exact spot where the trail became bucolic to the east and barren to the west. In hindsight, had we started in the other direction and headed up the west side of the loop, we would have sped downhill past Smithfield and had the lovely, shaded park area to pedal through for the second half of our ride. There's a really great local brewery a short drive from the Yankton Trail Park.
The kids and I and the dogs had an absolute blast. Can't wait to go again. So beautiful. And very friendly people.
The kids and I had a blast today. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. I hope the people that live here appreciate what they have. We will definitely go again.
In late September of '21, my wife and I experienced the joy of this awesome, five-star urban trail on a weekday morning. Even though it's completely within the Sioux Falls city limits, you'd hardly know it except for the occasional sounds from distant autos, the even more occasional sounds from the airport flight path, and the beautiful buildings you glimpse as you pass through an exceptionally quiet downtown. For the most part you're enveloped within the serenity of trees, parks and greenways, surrounded by wide open spaces and golf courses, or hearing the thunderous noise of the falls at Falls Park.
Even though it's called Sioux Fall Bike Trails, we stuck to one trail: the twenty mile loop that follows the two forks of the Big Sioux River and essentially encircles much of the city. We started our ride at Farm Field Park, a popular starting point for the many walkers and joggers utilizing the trails, and proceeded in a counterclockwise direction. Thank goodness for my investment in the Rails To Trails Link app! There were a couple of instances where we unsure which fork in the trail to take, and the app kept us on the right path!
With the exception of some rough patches of asphalt and two plus miles on a gravel road due to construction on the main loop trail out near the airport, most of the trail was excellent, wide, flat, and provided smooth riding.
WARNING: Besides the temporary construction detour, be aware of the steep climb just beyond the falls up the side of a dam. If not for my sixty-three year old wife's Swytch pedal assist, she would have been walking her bike up that steep grade. To avoid that, consider taking the loop in a clockwise direction.
All in all, the trail lived up to it's five star billing and was worth the 2,000 mile drive from SoCal to check off another state bike ride on our bucket list! We experienced the beautiful falls, sculptures, wildlife, architecture, arriving and departing jets, trestles, bridges, levees, zoo animals, river views, trees, and the super friendly walkers, joggers, and bike riders of Sioux Falls.
( By the way, so many previous reviewers were rough on the part that goes around the airport, but it was especially quiet, peaceful, and serene out there except for the infrequent jet landing or taking off. I enjoyed the views from the levees and solitude away from the town as much as riding within it.)
We were Mickelson Trail newbies and planned our trip based on reviews we read here. We did the 108 miles from Deadwood to Edgemont in 2 days the last week of September to experience the fall colors. It did not disappoint!! Gorgeous and trail excellent. We parked in Edgemont at the park and shuttled (Black Hills Discovery Tours. Great service. $158 2 people, 2 bikes) to Deadwood. Stayed at Cedarwood Inn (nice, clean, quiet, close to trail). Dinner at Jacob’s Brewery (nice ambiance, food ok). Breakfast next morning at Six Strings (not great). Headed down the trail (purchased pass at trailhead $8 cash per person), 16 miles gentle uphill, then mostly downhill to Hill City. Stayed at Quality Inn right on the trail and dinner at Alpine Inn (food pretty good and beer great after a long ride). Next morning off to Custer, stopped to check out Crazy Horse Monument (definitely worthwhile) then tackled the last stretch down to Edgemont. What I would do differently next time: bring a different bike!! Mountain bike (too heavy and not necessary), hubby was on a road bike with 28 tires which worked fine. There were soft spots on the trail but mostly hard pack with sand. Ideally a gravel grinder or ebike would be best. I would do it in 3 days. Park in Hill City, shuttle to Deadwood, ride Deadwood to Hill City first day. Make the second day easier with a ride to Custer. Third day ride Custer to Mt. Rushmore and back to Hill City. I would skip Custer to Edgemont. Although it’s mostly downhill, I felt I’d seen the best of the scenery and was really over it the last 37 miles from Pringle back to Edgemont.
We biked through the campgrounds at the Lewis & Clark Recreation Area, along the north shore of Lewis & Clark Lake. We find it fun to see how various folks "rough it" when camping. Seems like there were a thousand campsites and the trail had lots of activity. We extended the ride by riding all the way across Gavins Point Dam and back; there isnt much traffic on it. Although we didnt take the paved Highway 52 trail from the lake into Yankton, we highly recommend riding the paved trails around Riverfront Park in downtown Yankton, and then riding across both levels of the Meridian Bridge, a former RR/highway bridge across the Missouri River that has been modified for pedestrians. And while downtown, go north a few blocks and enjoy the fine large homes, and catch the Auld-Brokaw paved trail that follows Marne Creek from Tripp Park in the west to Burleigh St on the east end. This city knows how to keep bicyclists happy!
TrailLink is a free service provided by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a non-profit) and we need your support!