State Park Trails

State Park Trails

The many state parks of South Dakota provide abundant mountain biking opportunities, with a wide range of terrains, inclines, and surrounding scenery. In addition to bikers, the network of state park trails is also utilized by hikers, joggers, and walkers. Whether you prefer leisurely, level prairie trails or challenging mountain-climbing paths, you’re sure to find your perfect ride here.

Almost all of the state parks in South Dakota include some degree of biking trails, most winding among lush forests, rolling meadows, and rugged cliffs. Below are some popular destinations among mountain bikers of all skill levels:

  • Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve: With more than 10 miles of scenic trails, Adams is a mecca for mountain bikers. You’ll ride against a backdrop of sweeping meadows, lush forests, and pristine water reservoirs.
  • Angostura Recreation Area: Mountain bikers will cycle along miles of sandy coastlines and sparkling lakes.
  • Bear Butte State Park: Considered hallowed ground by many American Indian tribes, Bear Butte State Park is home to an awe-inspiring mountain rising out of the Black Hills. The park sits at the northernmost point of the Centennial Trail, which spans 111 miles and is frequented by thousands of mountain bikers each year.
  • Big Sioux Recreation Area: Located along the Big Sioux River, this outdoor recreation area boasts seven miles of biking trails that meander along thick forests and rolling grasslands.
  • Chief White Crane Recreation Area: Located along Lake Yankton, Chief White Crane features a bike trail that connects the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area to the city of Yankton.
  • Custer State Park: One of the premier natural wonders of South Dakota, this picturesque slice of history offers bikers miles of paved trails and logging roads. (Steer clear of areas that are posted as closed due to preservation efforts.) Bring your own bicycle or rent one from the park service.
  • Farm Island Recreation Area: Explore this nature lover’s haven by striking out on the eight miles of cycling trails. Bicycle rentals are available.
  • George S. Mickelson Trail: Meandering hundreds of miles through the pine-blanketed mountains of the Black Hills, the George S. Mickelson Trail provides a relatively level surface, making it ideal for families and groups of bikers. The trail is also utilized by hikers and horseback riders.
  • Hartford Beach State Park: Five hiking trails afford bikers close-up views of wildlife and scenic landscapes. Cultural and historical sites abound. Interpretive trail guidebooks are available.
  • LaFramboise Island Nature Area: For the biker who enjoys bird watching and wildlife tracking, this nature area is a prime choice. Seven miles of trails traverse rich habitats of forests and meadows.
  • Lake Poinsett Recreation Area: A short but scenic one-mile hiking trail spans a diverse landscape, meandering through forested areas, flat prairies, and shimmering lakes.
  • Lewis and Clark Recreation Area: One of South Dakota’s most popular recreational parks, the Lewis and Clark Lake boasts a paved trail and dedicated mountain bike area.
  • Newton Hills State Park: Six miles of biking can be enjoyed along the densely wooded Woodland Trail, catalogued in the registry of National Recreation Trails.
  • North Point Recreation Area: Located along the Missouri River, this site features a paved trail for hiking and biking.
  • Oahe Downstream Recreation Area: Listed as a National Recreation Trail, the Cottonwood Trail provides a dirt loop for more adventurous bikers.
  • Oakwood Lakes State Park: This park offers a trip of biking trails that affords views of several historical sites.
  • Pease Creek Recreation Area: Those seeking a more demanding biking excursion will enjoy this region’s mountainous topography. Dense forests provide plenty of shade.
  • Pelican Lake Recreation Area: Ride along lakeshores and prairie meadows when you embark upon this region’s 5.2 miles of marked biking trails.
  • Pierson Ranch Recreation Area: Linked to the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, Pierson Ranch features an accessible hiking and biking trail.
  • Richmond Lake Recreation Area: Bikers can take advantage of more than 10 miles of trails, which meander through scenic prairies and wildlife sanctuaries.
  • Springfield Recreation Area: One of the state parks located along the Lewis and Clark Trail, Springfield offers a bike trail that connects to the town of Springfield.
  • Union Grove State Park: Set off on several miles of wooded biking trails along the picturesque Brule Creek.
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