The state of South Dakota has many interesting places that offer a wide range of outdoor activities, and one of them is Rapid City. The Black Hills are one of the most popular natural attractions around the city, and it features more than 450 miles of hiking trails. These trails can accommodate a multitude of outdoor activities, including biking, rock climbing, hunting, fishing, rock collecting, camping and boating. BBOnline recommends the following Rapid City Black Hills hiking trails for beginners.
George S. Mickelson Trail
Tracy City Park
Hill City, South Dakota 57745
Right in the heart of the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve of the Black Hills National Forest is a famous man-made trail called the George S. Mickelson Trail. Along the 26.2 miles of gentle slopes and flat grounds on this trail are more than 100 converted railroad bridges and hard rock tunnels. Even children and the elderly can walk through this easy trail and experience the wonderful wildlife of the Black Hills among the forest of spruce and ponderosa pine trees. The George S. Mickelson Trail has many trailheads, and the closest one to Rapid City is the Burlington Northern Hill City trailhead. To get to this trailhead from your Rapid City Bed and Breakfast, you have to travel west on Highway 44. At the end of this highway, you have to turn left on Route 385, which will lead you directly to Hill City. The trailhead is located in Tracy City Park.
Pennington, South Dakota 57745
Deerfield Trail starts from the banks of the Coldwater Deerfield Lake. The 18-mile long trek stretches east from the lake and connects with more than 100 miles of other trails. Formerly the site of a short-lived gold rush in South Dakota, Deerfield is located at an elevation of 5,000 to 6,000 feet, but the hike will start with a gentle descent downwards into the picturesque canyons of Slate and Rapid Creeks. Surrounding the trail from the south is a vast blanket of tall pine trees, and to the north, it opens up to the sweeping grassland of Reynolds Prairie. You can reach Deerfield Lake from your Rapid City Inn by going west on Highway 44. At the Route 385 junction, turn right and follow the road until you reach County Road 261. This road will become Mystic Road later, and it will take you to Deerfield Road.
Rockerville, South Dakota 57701
The historic Flume Trail is one of the most popular Rapid City Black Hills trails, because it is the former lifeblood of the 1880 South Dakota Gold Rush. More than $20 million in gold nuggets were mined and refined through the flume. This 20-mile long trail is surrounded by shaded canyons, pine trees and broad meadows strewn with wildflowers. It starts from Sheridan Lake, and it features the Spring Creek Loop in the north. Walking on the Flume Trail also takes you through two flume channels below the dam and up to Boulder Hill, where you can enjoy scenic views of the Black Hills National Forest below.