george s. MICKELSON TRAIL | DEADWOOD TO EDGEMONT, SD
George S. Mickelson Trail Deadwood, SD to Edgemont, SD Map: https://gfp.sd.gov/parks/detail/george-s--mickelson-trail/ Know Before You Go: This dirt and aggregate trail is an old railroad bed, so the uphills and downhills are not steep but are long. There are water stations located sparingly along the route, so take advantage when you see them. Some swampy areas may be buggy. Sunscreen is a must. Vault toilets are available, but not often enough for small bladders. You must purchase a trail pass at the trailhead, payable in check or cash. Length: 108.8 miles. Time: 10+ hours bicycling. Walking and running depends on how far you walk or run. We ride segments. We have also run segments to train for the Deadwood Half Marathon and the Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon. Difficulty: Moderate due to the length. Terrain: Crushed aggregate, sand and dirt. Dog-friendly: Yes, but dogs must be kept on a leash. Kid-friendly: Yes, but only as far as your kids can handle.
You'll bicycle through four tunnels on the George S. Mickelson Trail.
Stretching 108.8 miles from Deadwood to Edgemont, this trail is a treasure that gives you views of the best of the Black Hills. From the pine-forested Northern Hills, through the deciduous-and-pine Central Hills, past the Crazy Horse Monument to the beautiful terra cotta stone south of Custer, you ride through multiple gorgeous biomes and interesting towns. There are also over 100 converted old-fashioned railroad bridges on the Mickelson Trail, and four tunnels - a thrill for any tourist.
The Mickelson Trail is a converted railroad bed on the old Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad that shut down in 1986. It was the first Rails to Trails project in South Dakota. Hills are gradual but often long, sometimes traversing through privately-owned land. The trail is named after George S. Mickelson, the South Dakota governor who sponsored the project.
We started bicycling this trail when my son was 5 years old. He loved it so much that he wanted to do the whole thing, so we bit off segments each time we traveled to the Black Hills and eventually completed his mission. The 15 trailheads are 10-15 miles apart, so doing an out-and-back route is reasonable on a bicycle.
My husband and I have also run this while training for the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Half Marathon and for the Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon. It works best when you have two cars, but you can also drop a bicycle at one end and have one person ride back for the car.
It also makes a great walking route on a slow day, and in the winter is a terrific cross country ski and snow shoe trail.
Bicycling the George S. Mickelson Trail near Mystic.