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“Scenic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of George S. Mickelson State Trail

George S. Mickelson State Trail
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Activities: Biking
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Attraction details
Owner description: 112-mile rails-to-trails project which goes through the Black Hills.
Racine, Wisconsin
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2014

This trail is not for sissies. You are going either up hill a 3% grade or downhill. The upgrade of 3% isn't bad however it can go on for about 5 miles. That being said it is well worth it. The view is awesome. If you thing you can't handle the 3% uphill they have a shuttle in Hill City that can take you anywhere on the trail. Have them drop you off on the top of a hill and you can go down.

Visited June 2014
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53 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Fort Collins, Colorado
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Delightful trail”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2014

I had to pleasure to walk 13.1 miles on this trail and it was delightful. The terrain, trees, river, sky, smells and sights were all so beautiful. I want to return and do another portion and maybe all 109 miles!

Visited June 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Amazing ride over wooden bridges and tunnels carved through slate mountains”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

The Mickelson Trail in the Black Hills of South Dakota is an absolute must if you enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, the rustic history of the American 1800's and a little bit of exercise while you are at it.

There are numerous bike rentals in Hill City and Custer (check out the reviews on TripAdvisor) or you can bring your own. The trail goes on for nearly a hundred miles and is divided up into multiple sections that give you a different taste of the adventure. Some of the sections are very steep and will give even the most hardy of rider a challenge. Others meander through the hills at a leisurely pace. I chose the section starting at the Mystic Trailhead going north. I should state the obvious that the trail is built on an old railroad track that was built in the late 1800"s. It generally follows a stream but ducks in through tunnels that have been restored and retrofitted to hold back any dropping rock. There are also two wooden bridges that were built in the 1980's when the trail was being established. All great fun.

My ride was about an hour and a half to make about 15 miles. It took me about two hours to make it back to the start where I had parked my truck. Someone that is a more serious rider could do it in half the time and if you took your time it would be a good days ride. The nice thing about it is you can go as far as you like and turn around or some of the rental places will pick you up down hill where you have arranged to be met.

Kids, adults, all will enjoy. Bring some water and a bag to haul any of your trash out. Several trailheads have restroom facilities. Temps in the Hills are about 10-12 degrees cooler than down in Rapid City which makes it a great activity for a hot day. Light jacket in your backpack for the ride back to your car is recommended.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pierre, South Dakota
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Mickelson Trail”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2013

I've ridden the Mickelson Trail many times, and many different sections. Rode from Deadwood to Hill City once with my brothers, son and nephews. Great fun! Its not a single track mountain bike trail but pea gravel converted railroad track. Some of the best sections are near Mystic and Rochford. Many bridges and tunnels. One of our best short afternoon treks would be to drive to Mystic (take your time!) and ride to Rochford, have ice cream at the Rochford general store/restaurant (compete with pet deer in the store!), and then ride back to Mystic (down hill). Bike shops in Spearfish and Rapid City will rent bikes if you need to. Total trail length is 110 miles from the north to south, almost all is relatively easy and scenic.

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burr Ridge, Illinois
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Fantastic and beautiful bike ride.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013 via mobile

The Mickelson Trail is not only a fun bike ride but it is beautiful. The scenery along the trail is spectacular as well as wildlife sightings. Along the trail are tunnels, bridges and waterfalls. I have loved riding this trail every year. A fun break for lunch is a stop in the tiny town of Rochford where you can visit the Small of America, a little store that sells everything from aspirin to antiques.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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