Homestake Railroad Grade Trail

South Dakota

2 Reviews

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Homestake Railroad Grade Trail Facts

States: South Dakota
Counties: Lawrence
Length: 3.5 miles
Trail end points: Lead City Dog Park (Lead) and Powerhouse Park (Deadwood)
Trail surfaces: Dirt
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 9694838

Homestake Railroad Grade Trail Description

More than a century ago, steam locomotives lugged supplies from Deadwood to Lead and to the miners at Homestake Mine, once the largest goldmine in the Western Hemisphere. This narrow-gauge track fell out of use in the early 20th century, and with it was lost a storied history that connected the two cities. Today, that connection is being re-established, thanks to the efforts of volunteers led by the Northern Hills Recreational Group. The Homestake Railroad Grade Trail as its name suggests follows the same route as the old Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley railroad, stretching 3 miles between the Lead Dog Park to the Mitchelson Trailhead in Deadwood. The hiking and mountain-biking trail goes through the historic neighborhoods at either end into a forested escape.  Interpretative signage will be added in Spring of 2018, narrating the rich history of the mine, the railroad and the nearby Black Hills communities.


Parking and Trail Access

You can park at either of the trailheads: Lead City Dog Park is located at 300 Washington St, Lead, while Powerhouse Park can be found on 50 Water St near the start of the Mickelson Trail in Deadwood. Powerhouse Park also features restrooms aside from other park amenities. 

Homestake Railroad Grade Trail Reviews

Homestake Trail is beautiful

I'm a local and do a lot of hiking in the area. This trail was a great experience. I had a 7 yo and a 13 yo on this hike. It was a beautiful sunny day in early November. Not sure I would do this if there was any chance of rain or snow. We took our time and just enjoyed the experience. My favorite part was experiencing the changes in the terrain. I especially liked the part where you could see the rock had to be blasted away for the train to pass through when it was in operation. Strongly advise you start at the top by the dog park and (if you can) have someone drop you off and pick you up near the start of the Mickelson Trail. I would not want to hike this trail from Deadwood (ALL uphill!). Take some time and stop along the way to enjoy the views. Definitely use the restroom before you set out as there are no facilities along the way. :)

Pretty sweet

The guys who built this put a lot of thought and effort into it. Highly recommended.

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