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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. The trail system is enclosed by Interstate 90 in the north, 57th Street in the south, Westward Ho Park in the west (with another short segment by Skunk Creek Legacy), and Rotary Park on the east. Much of the trail runs adjacent to Big Sioux River, which encircles the city.
A 1.5-mile spur of the trail, along Southeastern Avenue, parallels an active railroad line in a scenario known as rail-with-trail.
The Sioux Falls trail loop connects several parks where parking is available including (clockwise from the northernmost point):
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!
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.
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.)
I am from MT and this trail system is fabulous. It is so well laid out. I found it easy for the beginner trail rider that I am. Other users were friendly and were easy to approach with my questions. Let’s all ride to fight Childhood Cancer this month!
We rode this on Saturday September 4th. This is a beautifully maintained trail throughout its circuit. We did run come across a minor detour by the airport, due to construction, but the rest of the trail was wonderful.
We saw lots of people using this trail. It is very welcoming and the people we met along the trail were friendly and informative to this couple from Oklahoma seeking information at the detour.
Sioux Falls should be proud of this trail and we highly recommend it.
We road the trail today. We road by several parks, the zoo, golf courses and a prison. Nicely maintained trail w several bike repair stations w air and tools for public use.
This was LONG! We didn’t know how long, lol! We found out! We rode the whole thing. It’s best from Falls Park going towards the older downtown instead of the other way. The rest is fine but can get a bit dull out by the airport if you’re a person who enjoys scenery as you ride, however that’s just me. :)
The ride was flat for the most part and connected the many parks around Sioux Falls. You won’t want to miss it. 20+ miles. It’s a bit tricky to follow in spots near downtown because there are a lot of off-shoots, so it was nice to have a local to follow. Some of the sections could use some horizontal crack fixing (bumpy), but overall a great experience.
We rode the 26 +/- mile route in mid July 2019.... Very nicely maintained trail and quite well marked. Mostly level with a few grades, nothing major. Wind was a nuisance the day we rode, but still a great experience.
Was so surprised at how nice this trail system is; well maintained and laid out! Many cities should use this as a model for what should be!
Love our trail system. Ride it regularly! Pick you direction carefully so as to not have to ride UP the spillway ;-)
On my way to the black hills I stayed at one of the hotels near I-29 and just biked on the sidewalk a few blocks east to the loop. The 21 mile loop is all paved and smooth, and very scenic while along the rivers. The north section of the loop around the airport is on the top of a levy and kind of dull, but is flat and smooth so you can get a good workout if desired.
There is a good bike map on the city website.
We came to Sioux Falls specifically to ride the trails and they were absolutely delightful. There's a nice mix of urban and suburban cycling here. It's possible to get just about everywhere by bike. Many intersections include wide, well lit underpasses. Solid system. Five stars.
The city of Sioux Falls has created a wonderful biking experience for its residents and visitors!We road in October 2018 and could not have more pleased with the ever changing scenery and smooth trail surface.Road bikes work the entire 26 miles with very few cross roads to contend with.The trail passes through several city parks and South Dakotans enjoy the outdoors!Sioux Falls has many interesting restaurants and Airbnbs to add enjoyment to your visit.
We rode the entire loop last October and it was fantastic! So many cool things along the way including the spectacular falls park. Highly recommend!
We rode the entire loop today and this is an exceptional trail. It winds through park after park with smooth, wide lanes.
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.
Good surface-flat, lots of trees so you are not walking in the direct sun the entire time.
Connecting city parks, SFBT is a great urban trail for stretching your legs after miles in a car. Lot's of green and room to ride. The paved trail was in great shape. Busy with bikers walkers, joggers, etc. But, all were courteous. Very enjoyable.
Arrived in Sioux Falls 3 hours before sunset and enjoyed the beautiful Falls with trails throughout “Falls Park” . Many people in park. For exercise riders the Perimeter Trails were in use. The next morning I parked in “Cherry Rock Park” and took the trail down River to Falls Park. Also crossed the river at Cherry Rock and did a short section of “River Blvd Greenway” This section is older surface with expansion cracks. Be\ sure and ride if in area. 17 &18 Jun 13, Noel Keller
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