ATV TRAILS

Antelope Springs Trailhead (Hill City)

New trailhead for 2016. Located near the Redbank Campground. The trailhead supports some seldom used 3500 series atv trails and remote Forest Service roads. If you are atving in the Deerfield, Ditch Creek area and want an extra day of riding this is your trailhead.

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Blacktail Trailhead (Sundance)
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50 inch ATV trails! These trails are gated effectively, strategically placed rocks and fallen trees control the trail width, while forest service patrol for violators. Grass and forbs grow between the two track trails. Shrubs brush against the side of your atv, and trees canopy overhead helps make it a great atv trail experience.

These trails appear to be somewhat susceptible to damage. The trails are dirt rather than rock, and water collects easily in low spots. If you have a choice, choose to ride here when the trails are dry.

You can access these trails from the Blacktail Trailhead or from the Reuter Trailhead. Even though Blacktail is 30 plus miles North of Sundance it is worth the drive. If you access from Reuter, take Trail 1041 where it intersects with 854 (Bearlodge Road). It is a little difficult to find but when found it is well signed.

As you ride keep an eye to the West to get a view of Devils Tower.

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Bluebird Trailhead (Custer)
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Besides the ATV trails to the West, the Bluebird Trailhead gives you great access to all the Forest Service roads East, between there and Pringle. I suggest entering at FS 309 and taking a right at FS 3141H. This trail takes you through a beautiful limestone canyon. From the canyon head East and South. Keep an eye out for Ward Reservoir, McClure Dam, and Ventling Dam, but do not expect much water.

Ghost towns in the area include Argyle and the still active Pringle. Look for old buildings at Pringle mixed with more modern structures. Watch for 12-mile Ranch an old stagecoach stop and still active ranch.

The roads and trails are grass covered and little used except by locals and hunters to the area. This is a good area to “stay on the trails” because the lack of rain makes the area vulnerable to damage.

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South Boxelder Trailhead (Nemo)
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Most ATV’s that come to South Dakota visit Nemo. The South Boxelder Trailhead is the center of our ATV mecca. From here you can travel West to Pilot Knob, North to Dalton Lake and East to the Piedmont Trailhead.

Many trails and forest service roads exist in this area. A cave, Boxelder Creek, and a grave from Private Smith (Custer Expedition) are sites to see.

If you need a break visit the Nemo Guest Ranch. For a place to stay check out the Boxelder Forks Campground or Hay Creek Ranch.

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Camp 5 Trailhead (Sturgis)

ATV riders who miss riding the Camp 5 area during their Black Hills vacation, miss a diverse ride filled with remnants’ of old gold mines and beautiful geological scenery.  Trail 8041 will take you in and Trail 8042 will bring you out.  If you find Galena, take 170 East for some extreme trails.

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China Trailhead (Hill City)
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This trailhead can take you into the Hill City mining district. Old cabins, waterfalls, historic mines are all found on these trails and Forest Service roads.

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Dalton Lake Trailhead (Sturgis)
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A beautiful campground, a beautiful picnic area, a beautiful lake and access to numerous atv trails; what more could you ask for. This is a popular location for atv, utv, and cycle riders. The valley echoes with the sounds of riders having a good time.

Dalton Lake is a nice, quiet, but a small lake. It has picnic areas that has recently been updated. You can trailer in for a days ride or camp at the campground for an extended experience. There are 10 first come, campsites.

Check the maps to determine what direction is best for you. Although it is being restored, the Trail 8089 in this area is technical at least and should not be attempted by novice atv operators. However there are numerous forest service roads North and West of the trailhead. From here you can also access the Nemo area South, and all the related trails that allows.

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Ditch Creek area (Hill City)
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Probably the most expansive set of trails is found in the Deerfield area. Make your base camp at the national forest campground at Ditch Creek. Trail 291 is the backbone of the adventure you are about to experience.  Take Trail 6006 to the East or Trail 6024 West. If you are lucky you will be able to explore the Silica Mines or maybe hike Hat Mountain.

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Hawkright Trailhead (Custer)
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The Hawkright trail area has some relatively new trails. The trails weave in and out of what you might envision blackhills ranch land looks like. There are some great scenery stops, an old windmill and lots of trails. A new trailhead is just established at Trail 3101. Another at Pleasant Valley Road and 276.1A. Make sure you ride the S & G Canyon trail (FSR 274.1) and watch for the wall of caves.

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Hazelrodt Trailhead (Custer)
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Although not an official trailhead but rather a picnic area. Parking can be found here or at other nearby areas. This trailhead gives you access to the forest service roads South and East of Custer.

An old restored ranch, old buildings standing in Custer and a pair of monoliths are destinations in this area.

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Minnekahta Trailhead (Hotsprings)
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A little used area of the Blackhills. Trails take you into Red Canyon. Watch for an old school building, an old ranch homestead, old cabins, an old stage stop and red canyon walls.

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Piedmont Trailhead (Sturgis)
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This trailhead has great access off of I90 whether you are coming from Rapid City, or North from Sturgis or Spearfish. After you unload you will travel first on an old and often used 4-wheel drive fire trail. Once on top, you can travel West towards Nemo, or access Forest Service roads and trails South and North.

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Pilot Knob Trailhead (Rapid City)
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Most ATV visitors to the Black Hills ride Trail 8089, whether they trailhead at Pilot Knob, at Nemo, at Piedmont, or at Dalton Lake. From Pilot Knob you can access many other trails including Trail 8031 to the South or Trail 6210 to the West.

This is the center of the northern Black Hills ATV mecca, evidenced by the number of machines parked outside the best hamburger place in the hills, the Sugar Shack.

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Pine Grove Trailhead (Rapid City)
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Rockerville and Hayward are ghost town worth visiting. Little Falls and Big Falls is a short walk but worth your time. This area is loaded with Forest Service Roads that make great trails and a few 62″ trails can be found in this area.

Choose this trailhead if you are looking for a place close to Rapid City.

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Richardson Trailhead (Custer)
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Redfern Trailhead (Hill City)
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Red Lake Trailhead (Spearfish)
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There is a nice set of trails at the Red Lake Trailhead. This new trailhead is also a good location to park to access the area West to Tinton and Cement Ridge in Wyoming, the area East along Roughlock Falls Road and trails South.

Red Lake is designated as – a lake located just 9.8 miles from Lead, in Lawrence County, in the state of South Dakota, United States, near Savoy, SD. It is a small lake almost dry certain times of the year.

The Rod and Gun Campground and the Timon Campground are also good base camps for this area.

Tinton is an old mining town viewed now from outside the fence. Roughlock Falls, Timon Cave, an old cellar and a national Christmas tree are located in this area.

The Iron Creek Lake and Iron Creek are two good places to stop for a picnic.

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Reuter Trailhead (Sundance)
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Wyoming is the only place in the Black Hills that still has 50” trails. Please leave your 62” and wider vehicles at home when you visit this set of trails.

I suggest you park your trailer at the Reuter Trailhead. ATV North to Trail 1201 from there, even though it will be on an improved road for a short distance.

Cook Lake is a good destination. Check the Black Hills National Forest website to determine if it is open. It can also be a base camp. Northeast of there is Bearlodge Pit an open ATV riding area.

Great scenery, water features, a great fire tower and an old miners grave are sights to watch for. The best site for an avid ATV’er is the numerous 50” two-tract trails that in most cases appear to be virgin of wider UTV’s.

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Riley Hill Trailhead (Rapid City)

A trailhead that is not yet improved, with trails going North, East and others South. This is a diverse set of trail not far from Highway 385 and along Rochford Road. North will take you up to Roubaix Lake.

Watch for trails that take you into Blackhills National Forest Experimental Forest.

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Shanks Quarry Trailhead (Rapid City)
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Close to Rapid City with easy access. A nice set of trails that you will share with single-track bikes and ever 4-wheel drive rock crawlers.
You will find at least one trail that will require a “turn-around” because it is just too intense for anything less than 4-wheel drive rock crawlers.

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Schroeder Trailhead (Rapid City)
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Close to Rapid City with easy access. A nice set of trails that you will share with single-track bikes and ever 4-wheel drive rock crawlers.

You will find at least one trail that will require a “turn-around” because it is just too intense for anything less than 4-wheel drive rock crawlers.

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Stageyard Trailhead (Spearfish)
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A beautiful valley with trails that take you to the top. A mixture of trails and Forest Service roads located south of the beautiful Spearfish Canyon.

You may choose to base camp at the Hanna Campground if you are looking for a place to stay.

The Hanna ghost town is located in the area. Spearfish Creek and Little Spearfish Creek are also features to watch for.

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Spearfish Quarry Trailhead (Spearfish)
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This trailhead is close if you are atving out of Spearfish. It is a great trailhead to use in the fall because the area is abundant with fall colors. If you are exploring the gulches for color be sure to ride FS 626.1. If you are lucky the Wildlife Production Area gate will be open and you can ride it all the way to Higgens Gulch Road.

Spearfish Quarry is one of two open riding areas designated on the Blackhills National Forest. You can also ride South to the Iron Creek area and even West to the Wyoming border. But be ready for some dusty gravel road riding.

If you like to ride and hike this is a good location because some of the most cherished Blackhills hiking trails are found here.

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Tigerville Trailhead (Hill City)
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The Tigerville Trailhead is popular because of its abundance of trails, South, North and West. North takes you into an old mining district. South will take you into a bunch of new trails and West takes you to the Dearfield area.

Watch for great scenery, old cabins, and old gold mines.

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Victoria Trailhead (Rapid City)

This trailhead is excellent if you want to ride close in to Rapid City. Victoria Lake, Victoria Creek, Rapid Creek and a place we call sandstone ridge are all interesting features of this trail area. Newly added atv trails are also a highlight.

If you ride far enough you will crest a hill at the Pactola Reservoir. Stop at the visitor center or just enjoy the view.

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Crooks Tower Black Fox area (Rapid City)
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Parking at 231.4B. This area has numerous Forest Service roads that make great atv trails into a beautiful area of the Black Hills. Things to watch for include Crooks Tower, Whitetail Peak, a historic christmas tree or even a well hidden Cave Draw.

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Rochford/Mystic Road area (Hill City)
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Whenever I have the opportunity to take young people on the trails, I choose the Rochford area. Here is an area filled with mining and railroad history that in some place is still quite evident. Look for an old restored church. Look for evidence of mining and old cabins. Castle Creek is a beautiful feature of the area and Rapid Creek falls is a great place to stop for a picnic.

If you have time for a hamburger stop at Moonshine Gulch Saloon. If you want to do some shopping try the Small of America.

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Spearfish Peak trail area (Spearfish)
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This set of trails takes you through a state game production area and into a historic mining area. This is an excellent set of trails for easy access out of Spearfish SD. Watch for great scenery as you climb to the top of Spearfish Canyon. Travel the same roads that Blackhills gold ore was moved for processing into Deadwood and Lead. As you cross a bridge on Carbonate road over False Bottom creek, watch for False Bottom Falls.

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Custer National Forest Trails (Buffalo)
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A set of Forest Service roads and campgrounds located in Northwestern South Dakota in the Buffalo, South Dakota area. This area is part of the Custer National Forest headquartered in Montana.

Two days of riding can be found here on some of these Forest Service roads. Watch for current oil drilling evidence, and the historic battleground for the Battle of Slim Buttes.

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