George S. Mickelson Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"According to its namesake and founder, George S. Mickelson, "This trail may be our last opportunity to provide a pathway that is easily used by the elderly, people with disabilities and the very young, as well as hikers, bicyclists and other more traditional trail users." Begun in 1991, the Mickelson Trail represents a dream that is just now unfolding. Currently, only about half of the trail has been completed, but with some luck, all 110 miles should be in place in a few years."
--Bert & Jane Gildart, Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country (Falcon Guides).
"Experience a piece of Wild West history along the 109mile George S. Mickelson Trail (GMT) as it travels from the former gold-mining boomtown of Deadwood south over old railroad bridges, through rock tunnels, and into the heart of the Black Hills. Named after the late South Dakota governor who was instrumental in getting the trail built, this spectacular rail-trail delivers an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in a stunning landscape while reliving a bit of the Old West."
--Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Rail-Trail Hall of Fame (Wilderness Press).
Bicycled the 30 miles of the trail north of Custer. Very nice, in the woods mostly, and the trail surface is firm and smooth. Does get hot in the summer though.
Offering a multi-use trail from Deadwood to Edgemont, the Mickelson trail is a decent path for those wanting easy walking access to the beautiful views the Black Hills offer. The trail follows an old railroad grade and makes use of over 100 bridges modified for biking and hiking. There are also 4 tunnels along the way. The grade of the trail is rather gentle save a short section between the Deadwood and Sugarloaf trailheads. The trail is very well marked and maintained and the amount of use varies with the trailhead you are starting from. Most trailheads have a number of services including toilets, potable water and phones. Much of the trail follows along highway but the views are good enough that you just may not be bothered by the Summer traffic. If you are looking for an aggressive trail with less foot traffic and fewer hints of civilization than there are better trails for you in the Black Hills. If you want to get out and hike but want the conveniences of civilization nearby than hiking a part of the Mickelson is a good choice for you. For a good online map including elevation changes try the following URL http://www.mickelsontrail.com/trailheads.htm.
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