COMPLETED: Mickelson Trail -- Black Hills, SD -- June 2017

In June, I hiked part of the Mickelson Trail.  This is really a biking trail and it is a lovely one!  The path is crushed limestone and great for biking and also super nice for an easy hike.  You don't have to hike over roots and rocks.   I went with two friends and one friend hiked and one rode a recumbent bike.

We parked the car in Pringle, SD at the trailhead.  Pringle is a small town and we wondered if our car would be safe there and our shuttle driver assured us it would be just fine.  Then we took a shuttle up to Deadwood to start the hike/bike.  I can't remember exactly what shuttle we used but our shuttle driver was named Bill and was very knowledgeable about the trail and South Dakota history.

This first night on the trail we stayed in cabins that are along the trail.  We had all our own food in our packs and bike bag so once we got to the cabins and checked in, we used the microwave to cook up some ramon noodles.  It was nice to take a shower and have a bed to sleep in.

The second night we slept along the trail.  During the day while we were hiking and biking, we ran into a man who was riding the trail as the Mickelson Trail Bike Patrol.  He checks to see if people have their permit to ride the trail.  (We got a yearly permit for $15 each.)  He was also helpful in telling us where we could camp along the trail.  A lot of the land is private land and he steered us clear of that and told us where some federal land was that we could camp on.  It is important to NOT upset the neighbors and private land owners along these recreational trails.  

The third night, we slept in a hotel in Hill City.  And we had a super meal at a restaurant there called the Alpine Inn.  

Our adventure on the trail was finished after this.  I'd recommend the trail more for those who are biking as you can get to a campground or hotel easier on bike each night, than you can on foot.  The trail is over 100 miles long - I think a lot of the trail used to be an old railroad track.  The trail goes through several short tunnels.  Often in the hills, there are spots where there is no cell service.  At many of the trailheads there is a toilet and a pump for drinkable water.  

My friends and I hiked/biked approximately 50 miles of the trail.  It was a fun adventure and it was so nice to have all this time to catch up with my out-of-state friends!

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Happily may I walk.
May it be beautiful before me.
May it be beautiful behind me.
May it be beautiful below me.
May it be beautiful above me.
May it be beautiful all around me.
In beauty is it finished.

~Anonymous, Navajo Night Chant

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