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Custer State Park Trails

Custer State Park's 71,000 acres offer a lifetime of hiking opportunities. Besides the designated trails described below, hiking is allowed anywhere in Custer State Park. Some areas may be posted closed due to resource management concerns.

Maps and other sources of information about hiking trails may be obtained at park visitor centers, the Custer State Park office, entrance stations and local bookstores.

Trail Activities

Mountain biking

Mountain BikingAllowed in most areas of Custer State Park, except in those areas posted closed, which include the Sylvan Lake watershed area. A brochure describing biking opportunities may be found at the visitor centers, entrance stations and the Custer State Park office.

Horseback riding

Horseback RidingAllowed in most areas of Custer State Park, except in those areas posted closed, which include the Sylvan Lake watershed area and the Grace Coolidge Walk-in Fishing Area. Other areas may be posted closed due to resource management concerns. A map of marked horse trails may be found at the visitor centers, entrance stations and the Custer State Park office.

Trail Ratings

Easy Easy

The trail mainly follows level ground.

ModerateModerate

Parts of the trail follow steep slopes and rocky areas.

StrenuousStrenuous

Much of the trail follows very steep slopes and rocky areas.

Trail Safety - Be Prepared

  1. Drinking Water: Carry your own drinking water. Water is not available along the trails.
  2. Camping: Only allowed in designated campgrounds.
  3. Fires: Open fires are allowed only in designated picnic areas and campgrounds in approved fire grates.
  4. Pack out what you pack in.
  5. Helmets: (Mountain Biking) Wearing a helmet is recommended along with carrying a patch kit or spare tubes.
  6. Weather: Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the summer months.
  7. Leave a message: make sure someone knows about the trails you will be hiking/biking, with an estimated time of your return.
  8. Trail Markers: Most trails are marked by blue diamonds fastened to trees. The Centennial Trail is marked by gray diamonds and brown fiberglass posts.
  9. Poison ivy: Often found along trails, especially near streams. Learn to identify it and wear pants when hiking.
  10. Do not feed the wildlife.
  11. Bison: Custer State Park is home to a large bison herd. Please keep your distance.
  12. Rattlesnakes: Found in Custer State Park. Rattlesnakes will strike if threatened. If bitten, seek medical attention immediately.
  13. Mountain lions: Many live in the Black Hills. Be alert for wildlife at all times. If you encounter a mountain lion up close - DO NOT RUN, maintain eye contact with the lion, talk and yell at it, gather children close to you, make yourself appear as large as possible and become aggressive by throwing objects or waving sticks.
  14. Ticks: Tiny insects found in thick vegetation. Ticks can spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease and other illnesses. Use care when removing ticks.

Important Contacts

Custer State Park

13329 US HWY 16A
Custer, SD 57730

Park Headquarters: 605.255.4515
Visitor Center: 605.255.4464
Camping Reservations: 800.710.2267
Resort Company: 888.875.0001

George S. Mickelson Trail

605.584.3896

United States Forest Service

Supervisors Office - Custer: 605.673.9200
Custer Ranger District: 605.673.4853
Harney Peak and Black Elk Wilderness Area are managed by the U.S. Forest Service.