“109 miles of beauty”
The Mickelson Trail was originally the Burlington Northern line that took trains from Edgemont, SD to the northern Black Hills and the gold mines of Deadwood area. The trail transverses the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. The track built originally in 9 months and 22 days, was abandoned in 1983. A group of outdoor enthusiasts recognized the trail's potential, and with the support of the then Governor Mickelson, it became the states' first rails to trails project. The first 6 miles of the trail was dedicated in 1991. After many years of hard work, and collaboration between the US Forest Service, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department, the National Guard, the South Dakota Department of Transportation, the South Dakota Department of Corrections, and the local Friends of the Mickelson Trail, the trail was completed in 1998. The surface is primarily crushed limestone and gravel. There are currently 15 trailheads which all offer parking, self-sale trail pass stations ($4 daily or $15 annual), vault toilets, and tables. The grades of the trail do not exceed 4 percent for the most part, but parts of the trail are considered strenuous. Traveling from Deadwood (4550 feet) in the southern direction toward Edgemont (3400 feet), the trail looses approximately 1150 feet in overall elevation.
Length: 109 miles
Trail end points: US 85 nr. the hospital (Deadwood) to E Street nr. Rt. 471 (Edgemont)
Trail surfaces: Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
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George S. Mickelson Trail
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