Grace Coolidge Walk-In Fishing Area Trail

Custer, South Dakota

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A beautiful, fairly flat walk terminating or beginning at Center Lake or Grace Coolidge Campground that parallels (with many crossings) Grace Coolidge Creek. The Grace Coolidge Walk-in Fishing Area trail is actually an old, overgrown logging road. It is an easy and refreshing hike, and the numerous crossings over the narrow, sometimes deep, creek add to the fun. Six lowhead dams exist along the way, some with deep dark pools lying beneath granite rock formations. Walking this trail is a fun outing for the entire family. In the summer the trail is alive with the vibrant colors of wildflowers; in the fall the bur oak and birch tree leaves add a startling gold that contrasts with the green-black of the ponderosa pine. As in many low, wet areas, poison ivy is abundant along the trail and by the creek. Photo opportunities abound here, as do chances for excellent fishing. The pools are stocked with rainbow and brook trout, so hiking anglers should be sure to pack in fishing gear along with their South Dakota license. In 1927 President Calvin Coolidge and his family maintained a summer White House nearby; as a result, many features in the area bear the Coolidge name.
Best Easy Day Hikes: Black Hills Country

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Easy Day Hikes: Black Hills Country

by Bert & Jane Gildart (Falcon Guides)

A beautiful, fairly flat walk terminating or beginning at Center Lake or Grace Coolidge Campground that parallels (with many crossings) Grace Coolidge Creek. The Grace Coolidge Walk-in Fishing Area trail is actually an old, overgrown logging road. It is an easy and refreshing hike, and the numerous crossings over the narrow, sometimes deep, creek add to the fun. Six lowhead dams exist along the way, some with deep dark pools lying beneath granite rock formations. Walking this trail is a fun outing for the entire family.

In the summer the trail is alive with the vibrant colors of wildflowers; in the fall the bur oak and birch tree leaves add a startling gold that contrasts with the green-black of the ponderosa pine. As in many low, wet areas, poison ivy is abundant along the trail and by the creek. Photo opportunities abound here, as do chances for excellent fishing. The pools are stocked with rainbow and brook trout, so hiking anglers should be sure to pack in fishing gear along with their South Dakota license. In 1927 President Calvin Coolidge and his family maintained a summer White House nearby; as a result, many features in the area bear the Coolidge name.

©  Bert & Jane Gildart/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Custer
Distance: 5.6
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 5 to 6 hours
Season: Best spring through fall
Local Contacts: Custer State Park
Local Maps: Trails Illustrated Topo Map No. 238
Driving Directions: Directions to Grace Coolidge Walk-In Fishing Area Trail

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May 2018