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Best Hiking and Biking near Sturgis South Dakota

alkali Creek Nature Trail

There are loads of hiking and biking options near Sturgis South Dakota and it pretty easy to find the best trail for you. This small town in the Northern Black Hills offers a lot. There are short trails and long trails, easy trails and difficult trails, plus many of the trails are connected. Basically a choose your own outdoor adventure.

Fort Meade Recreation Area

The Fort Meade Recreation Area is almost 7000 acres of public land. The area was established as a military reservation in 1878 and was home the the 7th Cavalry. The Fort Meade VA Hospital is located here. It is a great mix of history and natural beauty.

Alkali Creek Nature Trail (pictured above) is a short hike through stands of timber and prairie grass. It is just over 1/2 mile long. I like taking my children for hikes here or stopping for a quick hike when I don’t have much time. It is just off Interstate 90 and offers a great view of Bear Butte. It is located near the Alkali Creek Trailhead. There is access to the Centennial Trail and 7th Cavalry Trails from here as well.

The 7th Cavalry Trails offer great options for hiking, biking and horseback riding.  They can be access directly in Sturgis at Lions Park or on Old Stone Road. Access can also be found at the Fort Meade Trailhead of the Centennial Trail and The Alkali Creek Trailhead. I really enjoy spending time on these trails, the area is beautiful and the trails are well marked and easy to find.

Bear Butte State Park

This park is located just north of the Ft. Meade Recreation Area. It is home to Bear Butte, an area held sacred by many Native Americans. The park has a hiking trail to the top of Bear Butte. Hiking to the top is no easy feat, there is a 1000 feet change in elevation, however, the views from the top are worth it! There is also a small lake and campground. And, the Centennial Trail begins here.


Bear Butte is a nice hike

Centennial Trail

The 111-miles trail begins at Bear Butte State Park. It continues through the Fort Meade Recreation Area as it heads south through the Black Hills to the Dalton Lake Trailhead and eventually ending in Wind Cave National Park.

You can hike on the Centennial Trail or use it to connect with the 7th Cavalry Trails or meet up the the Deadman Trail System.


Deadman Trail System

When the Deadman Trails are completed they will add over 20 miles of trails to the Sturgis area. The trails will connect with the Centennial Trail. This is a rugged and beautiful portion of the Black Hills. The historic city dams are located here, at one time the dams provided water for the city of Sturgis. The area was not accessible to the public for many years and has finally been open for recreation and enjoyment. The hike to the dams is over 4 miles round trip and includes steep trails and loose trail surfaces, this is not a hike for everyone.

The primary trailhead is located in Sturgis a the corner of Pineview  Drive and Vanocker Canyon Road near Flex Fitness. As the trails continue to develop there will be more access points.

Learn More

Black Hills Trails has more information about the trails and a really nice printable map here.

Bureau of Land Management – manages the Fort Meade Recreation Area

About the author: Josh loves to take pictures and sharing them on his South Dakota and the Black Hills blogs. When he is not busy being a Pharmacist he enjoys traveling with his family.

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