Boland Ridge Trail Professional Review and Guide
"A one-way trek over Boland Ridge, terminating at the Park boundary fence. This loop option is a relatively flat, natural-history trail, meandering through the tallgrass prairie.Throughout, the trail offers scenic vistas of the Black Hills. The final miles pass over a forest trail. The hike begins on a tallgrass prairie plateau that offers panoramic views.As the trail proceeds counterclockwise, it parallels Rankin Ridge and is separated by about a mile from the Red Valley to the east. In places the trail is faint and markers aresometimes infrequent. Be sure your travels proceed in a southeasterly direction. Sharp-tailed grouse are abundant in the high grasslands, and more than one hiker has been unnerved by the flurry of wings that suddenly erupts as feet and birdalmost collide."
--Bert & Jane Gildart, Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country (Falcon Guides).
The Boland Ridge Trail is located in Eastern Wind Cave National Park where the traffic is lightest as access is via gravel roads. This side of the park also seems more dominated by praire than forest. As with most areas within the park bison, elk, antelope, deer and praire dogs are frequently spotted along with wild turkeys. This trail sees rather little use (by people) and most of the traffic along it appears to be bison. The trail ends rather abrubdtly at the Eastern edge of the park and one can't help but wish the park would expand it's boundaries. I find the Wind cave praires to be suprisingly enjoyable to spend the day and it always peaks my curiosity to see what animals will crawl out of the forest to brave a day grazing in the praire grass.
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