Saturday, September 7, 2019

Devils Tower

George Mickelson Rail Trail, Black Hills SD

George S. Mickelson Trail
Imagine a path where the ghosts of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane still roam; where bicyclists, hikers and horseback riders can explore spruce and ponderosa pine forests; and the very young, the very old and people of all abilities can enjoy.

The George S. Mickelson Trail, in the heart of the beautiful Black Hills, was completed in September of 1998.  Its gentle slopes and easy access allow people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the beauty of the Black Hills.  Much of the trail passes through National Forest Land.

The trail is 109 miles long and contains more than 100 converted railroad bridges and 4 rock tunnels.  The trail surface is primarily crushed limestone and gravel.

My ride on the George Mickelson Trail started in Hill City, SD.  I rode east for about 20 miles which took me through Custer, SD and a little beyond.  The trail was crushed limestone/gravel that was in good condition.  I was riding a gravel bike with 38mm tires I talked with one cyclist that had 25mm tires and he was able to ride the trail but it was a lot more challenging with the skinny tires.  The first 9 miles was a gentle steady grade of about 2-3% that climbed 880 feet.  The total elevation gain on the 40 mile ride was over 1700 feet, all the grades were less than 3%.  The scenery was beautiful and with the 3% or less grade the ride was very pleasant. 

 Down Town Custer

Crazy Horse Monument