The 7th Cavalry Trail System offers great opportunities for hiking, trail running, mountain biking and horseback riding with access points right in Sturgis South Dakota.
The Lion’s Park Trailhead is on the Northeast side of Sturgis, just off Lazelle Street. Trail access can be found near the large gazebo. There is a nice sized parking lot and access to restrooms during the summer season.
You will begin on Trail #2. It will meet up with trails #3 and #4. Trail #3 will take you to the Fort Meade trailhead and trail #4 will take you along the western portion of the area, connecting with trails #5 and #6. There is a really good map from Black Hills Trails you can download here.
The trail system has several loops, allowing you to choose your own adventure. I found Trail #4 had some great views of Sturgis and Bear Butte. There are plenty of pine and oak trees along the trail, along with the occasional clearing. I really enjoyed my time on the trail and plan to explore the whole thing at some point.
The southern portions of the trail can be access via the Alkali Creek Trailhead. Or, on Old Stone Road, near Believers Fellowship Church in Sturgis. This is part of Fort Meade Recreation Area and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Eleven miles of the Centennial Trail traverse this recreation area.
Always carry plenty of fresh water, food and be mindful of the weather and watch for wild animals.
I had a chance to hike to the top of 11th Hour Gulch during the motorcycle rally one morning. I have always enjoyed visiting here.
It is tricky to find. It is just north kissing rock, aka the dice as you can see to the left of the road in the picture. Watch this YouTube video to see where it is.
This is not for everyone. the rocks are slippery and uneven. One must climb a couple of ladders that are not the most sturdy and then you’ve got to climb up a slippery area at the end to get above the gulch.
However, the views are pretty great from the top. This is really a neat place in the canyon and in the winter it is pretty cool too.
Get off your butt and go explore Spearfish Canyon, it is really a neat place to explore. And, when you are in the area checkout Lookout Mountain Park right in Spearfish.
There is plenty of great hiking near Deadwood South Dakota. I mean everyone knows about all the fun in town. Great attractions, casinos, restaurants, events and more. But, the options available in the Black Hills National Forest are plentiful too.
Just to the north of town in a nice short hike that has great views of the area. Friendship Tower was dedicated in 1919, and it is still a favorite of locals and visitors alike. You can climb the tower and there is a picnic area too.
You don’t even have to leave town to feel like you are taking a hike. You could walk to Mount Moriah, then on to Seth and Martha Bullock’s graves and if you still have energy hike all the way to white rocks. The Homestake Trail is a must, it connects Lead and Deadwood.
West out of town you’ll find Spearfish Canyon. It has hiking for all levels of abilities. Take a nice leisurely stroll to Roughlock Falls, or test your lung capacity hiking to the canyon rim on the 76 trail, or visit Devil’s Bathtub and take a dip in the refreshing water.
Head east out of town to Sturgis, then a bit further you find Bear Butte. A place held sacred by the Native Americans, a great hike. On the top you’ll be treated with views of the prairie and the Black Hills. There is a small lake and camping is available.
Just off the interstate near Sturgis you can find the Alkali Creek Nature Trail. It is a short trail but offers great views and a mix of trees and meadows. Plus you can access the Centennial Trail there too. The Centennial Trail is a 111-mile trail that runs right through the heart of the Black Hills.
The Deadwood Trailhead of the Mickelson Trail is right in town. It is free to use in the city limits. It is a 109-mile trail along an old railroad bed. It starts in Deadwood and ends in Edgemont.
When you are visiting Deadwood and the Northern Black Hills, be sure to enjoy sometime time hiking in the forest.