Grace Coolidge Walk In Fishing Area Trail

Custer, South Dakota

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1 Review
4 out of 5
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.

Grace Coolidge Walk In Fishing Area Trail Professional Review and Guide

"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."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Custer
Distance: 5.6
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 4 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

Recent Trail Reviews

12/28/2000
0

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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May 2018