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George S. Mickelson Trail

NOTICE

Water has been turned off for the season.

Activities

BikingBirdwatchingCross country skiingHikingHistorical interestHorse TrailSnowmobilingSnowshoeing

(Snowmobiling allowed only on a portion of the Deadwood to Dumont section)

Park Specs

Open: Year-round, from dawn to dusk
Length of trail: 109 miles with 15 trailheads, from Edgemont to Deadwood
Trail surface: Packed gravel
Rated: Easy to moderate

Facilities at or near the trail heads:

  • Parking
  • Toilets
  • Drinking water
  • Picnic tables
  • Several also have small shelters

Facilities along the trail:

  • Benches
  • Vault toilets
  • Shelters
  • Drinking water

Fees

MIckelson Trail Pass* : $3 daily or $15 annual pass

* Passes are available at self-service stations along the trail, authorized vendors, some state park offices and online.

Contact

Email: MickelsonTrail@state.sd.us
Phone: 605.584.3896
11361 Nevada Gulch Road
Lead, SD 57754-9801

The trail in Autumn

Walk in the footsteps of the past, explore the outdoors, or simply enjoy a stroll!

Imagine a path where the ghosts of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane still roam; where bicyclists, hikers and horseback riders can explore spruce and ponderosa pine forests; and the very young, the very old and people of all abilities can enjoy.

The George S. Mickelson Trail, in the heart of the beautiful Black Hills, was completed in September of 1998. Its gentle slopes and easy access allow people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the beauty of the Black Hills. Much of the trail passes through National Forest Land, but there are parts of the trail that pass through privately owned land, where trail use is restricted to the trail only.

The trail is 109 miles long and contains more than 100 converted railroad bridges and 4 rock tunnels. The trail surface is primarily crushed limestone and gravel. There are 15 trailheads, all of which offer parking, self-sale trail pass stations, vault toilets, and tables.

Bridge over creek

A majority of the trail does not exceed a 4% grade, but parts of the trail are considered strenuous. Dumont is the highest point and the 19 mile stretch from Deadwood to Dumont is the longest incline.

Note: Poor to non-existent cell phone coverage on the trail

Safety

All wildlife can be dangerous. Stay on the trail for better safety.
Rattlesnakes

The prairie rattlesnake is found on the southern end of the trail, but is rarely found above 5000 feet elevation. They can be found in a variety of habitats including rocky areas, grassland, and stream banks.

Mountain Lions

Be alert for wildlife at all times. If you encounter a 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.

Cattle

As you travel the trail, you may see cattle nearby. Their grazing helps maintain meadows that are needed for wild animal habitat. If you come to an area where cattle are on the trail, DO NOT spook them, speak in a calm voice and slowly work your way around them..

Poison ivy

Identified by its three pointed leaves that are typically shiny, in the spring and summer the leaves are green, changing to yellow and red in the fall. The oil on the plant can cause a severe rash when it comes in contact with human skin.

Horses and Pets

If you are traveling from a state other than South Dakota and intend to bring horses to ride on the trail or a pet to accompany you on the trail, please check with the South Dakota Animal Industry Board for import requirements, at or call 605-773-3321.

Foreign Travelers

If you are traveling to South Dakota from a foreign country where Foot and Mouth Disease of livestock or other foreign animal diseases are known to exist, you must avoid contact with livestock, wildlife, and the areas they inhabit for a minimum of five days after arrival.