Join one of South Dakota’s greatest bike rides

As of Thursday, riders were still being accepted for South Dakota’s 12th annual Mickelson Trail Trek. The trek covers the entire 109-mile trail through the Black Hills in three days. This year’s trek is Sept. 18-20, and the deadline for early registration and the free merchandise that comes with it is July 8. After that, registration will be accepted until Sept. 1 or until the limit of 600 riders is met.

The Mickelson Trail is a rail-to-trails project that was built between 1991 and 1998. It stretches from Deadwood in the northern Black Hills to Edgemont in the southern Black Hills, through some of the state’s most scenic areas. The trail includes old railroad tunnels and bridges and varies in elevation from about 3,500 to more than 6,000 feet above sea level. The official trail guide says "For the most part, the grades of the trail do not exceed 4 percent, but parts of the trail are considered strenuous."

The trail is named for the late Gov. George S. Mickelson, who was killed along with seven other people in 1993 when their state-owned plane crashed into an Iowa farm silo.

Here’s some more info about this year’s Trail Trek from the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks:

Registration can be completed online by visiting and by following the "Trail Trek" link. Registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis. …

Last year, 514 people rode in the Trek, including riders from 27 states and Canada. …

The registration fee includes the trail pass, shuttle service, commemorative souvenirs, refreshments and some meals during each day’s ride. Riders are responsible for accommodations and mechanical support. The ride is open to all bicyclists 14 years of age or older.

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.


  1. John LeDuc
    John LeDuc 12 November, 2012, 02:17

    I maybe interested in this three day ride in September/2013. Could you please.send more information such as the price, map, sags and registration.

    Reply this comment

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