Black Hills National Forest Biking Overview

Black Hills National Park
Black Hills National Park (Photodisc/Getty)

Mountain bikers enjoy their sport on several thousand miles of old logging trails and low standard roads, plus some developed trails shared with other users. Most routes are easy, but there are challenging sections for the serious biker. The variety of opportunities for bikers led GORP to dub the area around Custer, South Dakota, one of its biking Meccas beyond Moab. You'll find some great trails in other areas, too. The Bearlodge Trails are the star attraction for bikers. This 50.3-mile system in rugged canyon country is the arena for the annual Fattire Biking Challenge.

If you're looking for a good tour, the George S. Mickelson Rail Trail is a contender. It's an 114-mile trip from Deadwood to Edgewood with gentle grades almost all the way.

Don't worry about packing your bike if you don't want to. You won't have any trouble renting one in most of the towns around the forest.

Biking Trails
Numbers correspond with the map above.

Centennial Trail
111 miles. A landmark trail that stretches across the north-south length of the Black Hills.
George S. Mickelson114 miles. Rail trail from Deadwood to Edgewood. Gentle grades.
1. Cook Lake Trail & Cliff Swallow Trail4.5 miles. Good wildlife trail.
2. Bearlodge Trails50.3 miles. Home of the annual Fattire Biking Challenge for mountain bikers.
4. Big Hills Trails16.5 miles. Spearfish Canyon rim country.
5. Baldy Trail, Rimrock Trail & Little Spearfish Trail18 miles. Canyon rims and peak tops.
6. Eagle Cliff Trails14 miles. Self-guided loop system that was originally developed for cross-country skiing.
8. Deerfield & Lake Loop Trail28 miles. Gentle trails through scenic canyons.
9. Bear Mountain Trails16.1 miles. Breathtaking views and lots of wildlife.
11. Harney Range Trail System50 miles of trails, 14 trailheads, many in the Black Elk Wilderness.
12. Hells Canyon Trail6 miles. Follows a bench below limestone cliff for outstanding views of Eagle Canyon.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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