Grace Coolidge Walk In Fishing Area Trail

Custer, South Dakota 57730

Grace Coolidge Walk In Fishing Area Trail

Grace Coolidge Walk In Fishing Area Trail Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A beautiful, fairly flat walk terminating at Center Lake, paralleling (with many crossings) Grace Coolidge Creek. French Creek originates northwest of the town of Custer. It feeds Stockade Lake and continues its eastward flow, passing through Custer State Park and into the 2,200-acre French Creek Natural Area. The creek cuts into the land in a dramatic manner.

Over its next 12 miles, the creek exposes some of the Black Hills’ most spectacular granitic and sedimentary layers in the form of narrow defiles and cozy, colorful canyons. Surrounding walls rise boldly and radiate colors of red, orange, and yellow. Near here, at the present site of the Gordon Stockade, a member of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer’s 1874 expedition to the Black Hills discovered gold, a presence that was to alter treaties and revise forever the interaction of native peoples."

More Grace Coolidge Walk In Fishing Area Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Easy Day Hikes: Black Hills Country (Falcon Guides)
Bert & Jane Gildart
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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."

Grace Coolidge Walk In Fishing Area Trail Trip Reports

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12/28/2000
I live along Grace Coolidge creek and often go to the walk in area to do a little trout fishing. The stream has a number of crossings that can be a little challenging after a heavy rain but the hike is otherwise quite leisure.

The stream itself is quite narrow and consist of a number of small ponds between the trailhead and center lake.

Bighorn sheep, elk, bison, and deer are often spotted along the trail and the stream is stocked with plenty of large rainbow trout. There are also a few brook troiut in the stream. The best time to visit for solitude (in the black hills in general) is from Labor day to Memorial day. The river is even fishable periodically throughout the Winter.
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Trail Information

Custer
Nearby City
5.6
Distance
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Easy
Skill Level
4 to 6 hours
Duration
Best spring through fall
Season
Custer State Park
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated Topo Map No. 238
Local Maps

Trail Log