Guide for biking the George S. Mickelson Trail
The last two years I have completed the Mickelson Trail in the Black Hills, South Dakota. SO MUCH FUN!
Walkers, cyclists and horseback riders are welcome on the crushed limestone trail. The first time, biking with a friend, we completed the 100+ mile trip in 2 days. We started with the uphill climb in Deadwood, stayed in a cabin feet from the trail in Hill City and continued to Edgemont the next day. It worked great to use a shuttle service to get to the beginning and end.
Both years I have biked in the Fall, other than one 90+ degree day, the weather was beautiful. The further you travel south, the warmer it will be.
This year, biking with my dad, we divided the trip into 3 days. Along the journey we helped a couple with a flat tire (in the most remote section), chatted with people from Idaho & New Hampshire, heard stories from a safety volunteer who had been biking the trail for years and a man who was picking apples for his chickens and offered us one.
I love how you ride through pine forests, open prairie and the terrain changes closer to Edgemont. There are 15 trail heads, some with bathrooms and water. Most include a shelter, picnic table and a bit of history. As part of the trail is private land, you will pass through pastures with grazing cows.
Rochford (pop. 25)
An old gold mining town a little off the path. Moonshine Gulch Saloon is great if you need a beer or Rochford Mall for a snack. Worked perfectly for a lunch stop.
FOUNDED: May 1878
ELEVATION: 5,302 ft
If you are looking to do a day trip, the section between Rochford and Mystic is really lovely. A flowing stream follows most of the trail.
Even though the trail is at railroad grade there are some long stretches of uphill climbs and the bliss of long downhill rides. Keep a look out for the Bicycle Sculpture in Pringle.
Bike Mickelson: Is a great resource for planning your trip including towns & services, distances between the trailheads and an elevation chart.
The New Hat Creek Grill
Perfect spot for an end of ride snack & celebratory drink. Near the park and start/finish for the trail.