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Any mellow hikes in/near Custer SP

Boston...
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Any mellow hikes in/near Custer SP

Ok so first off, I am a flat lander and although I really enjoy the mountains, I am more partial towards 1-2 hour hikes with reasonal grades/lower elevations. I realize that Custer is up in elevation, but with that in mind are there any smaller hikes or partial hikes that anyone can recommend? I am trying to see a lot in the Custer Area in 2 days. Then we go to Badlands for about a day. Then to the Deadwood area for a day. Then up to T.Roosevelt in ND (that day is a mostly a travel day). Trying to find balance in seeing some of the scenic drives but not just spending all the time in the car. My girlfriend will also be more inclined to hike if it's mellower. If I had more time (regretfully I overplan) I would be up for a bit longer trek. Seperate question: should I bring the hiking poles? Thanks for the help!

Boston...
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1. Re: Any mellow hikes in/near Custer SP

Oh we will be in the area the very end of April and the first day of May.

Pitman, New Jersey
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2. Re: Any mellow hikes in/near Custer SP

In Custer SP, the easy hike that comes to mind is the trail around Sylvan Lake. In places, you will have to navigate around some rocks, but overall, it's pretty level and easy. My only concern here might be weather. It's tough to say what it will be like.

I think most of the other trails in Custer SP might not be mellow enough for you. Harney Peak is fairly long, and I'm not sure if all the trails will even be accessible that time of year.

Although not in Custer SP, I"m thinking you'd enjoy some of the trails in Spearfish Canyon and also the relatively flat trail around Devil's Tower.

Oh, and I don't think you will need hiking poles.

Iowa
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3. Re: Any mellow hikes in/near Custer SP

In addition to Sylvan Lake, we also hiked Legion Lake. It's a short and easy (although you do have to go uphill a bit) hike around Legion Lake. The nice thing about it is that we met only a few other people on the trail, unlike at Sylvan Lake which was really crowded. Probably won't be an issue for when you are going though.

You could also hike just a bit on any of the other trails, and then turn around when you run out of time or get sick of it. We hiked just a bit on a trail near the Needles, and then turned around when the kids got sick of it. I also remember an easy hike near the poet's house you can tour (I believe it's called the Badger's Hole--the poet's house, not the hiking trail). I hiked on it a short ways. It gently went uphill and through the forest. It was very quiet and I met no one on the trail--it was a bit eerie!

Keep in mind that in late April/early May trails could be very muddy. We were there the second week in June and there were a few trails we didn't attempt because they were way too muddy and full of puddles.

Edited: 9:15 am, March 29, 2013
Boston...
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4. Re: Any mellow hikes in/near Custer SP

Thank you both!!! I realized that was a risk in going so early in the season, however my business has me busy in the Summer and I like visiting places in the off/early season. I am not worried about some up hill, just nothing with a really tough grade cause of the elevation and the time. Thanks again!!!

South Dakota
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5. Re: Any mellow hikes in/near Custer SP

The Presidential Trail at Mt. Rushmore is 50 percent steps, but it is short. If you dislike steps, head left from the observation platform, go the the base of the mountain and double back. That portion is completely flat. Also, hopefully someone else can help you with this, but I remember a hike in Custer State Park that followed a river, so it was very flat.

Boston...
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6. Re: Any mellow hikes in/near Custer SP

Thanks everyone!

Found this after looking around for a few minutes: …sd.gov/state-parks/…hiking-biking.aspx

South Dakota
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7. Re: Any mellow hikes in/near Custer SP

I checked your link and the one I was thinking of is the Creekside Trail.

Boston...
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8. Re: Any mellow hikes in/near Custer SP

3174, Thank you! I put that together when I read the description. :)

9. Re: Any mellow hikes in/near Custer SP

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