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Rankin Ridge

fire tower on Rankin Rigde, Wind Cave National Park

When you think of Wind Cave National Park, most people think of the miles and miles of underground caverns.  However, there are also many hiking opportunities through the beautiful areas of timber and prairie.  The southern tip of the Centennial Trail is located in the Park.

The Rankin Ridge Nature Trail is a nice one mile loop that provides great views of the surrounding landscape.  You’ll find the trail in the Northern portion of the park on highway 87, just a few miles from Custer State Park.  At the trailhead there is a trail guide, pick up a copy and watch for numbered posts along the hike.  The trail goes right under the old fire tower.  The tower is no longer in use and is closed to climbing, however, it is neat to see the old structure.

If you like interpretive trails, the Alkali Creek Nature Trail in the Northern Black Hills also has a great trail guide.  The hiking options are almost endless in the Black Hills National Forest.   And, if you enjoy old fire towers I encourage you to visit Flag Mountain Lookout.

About the author: Josh loves to take pictures and share them on his South Dakota and the Black Hills blogs.  Plus he enjoys traveling with his family any chance he gets.

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