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Find the top rated horseback riding trails in South Dakota, whether you're looking for an easy short horseback riding trail or a long horseback riding trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Click on a horseback riding 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||
2 day ride starting in Deadwood, overnight in Hill City and on to Edgemont. Outstanding fall ride with a total of 8 other riders over 2 days. Mornings were cold but afternoons were into the 60s. Snow still present in N and NW facing slopes with the trail muddy in spots. Day 1 surface was firmer with smaller packed gravel. Rode 28mm tires and was fine all day. Day 2 changed to 35mm tires and found it helpful dealing with the freeze thaw mud. Overall one of the best R2T rides I have done. Trail maintenance and facilities were excellent! This is the sort of R2T other states should use as an example.
I did a 40 mile round trip on a hybrid, starting at Hill City. A local rider told me this was the nicest stretch of the trail. It took me through three of the four tunnels. Once you leave the Hill City outskirts, you're away from the highway and riding through some beautiful scenery.
This is a more challenging ride that most rail trails. The hills aren't steep, but they're long. Going north, you climb a long hill out of Hill City, reach a crest and then descend 7 miles before starting up and even longer hill.
It's hard to imagine a better managed trail than this. The the signage, the condition of the trail surface and the rest facilities are all excellent.
The guys who built this put a lot of thought and effort into it. Highly recommended.
We rode several miles from Sertoma Park going south and east. These are a wonderful resource.
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.
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