Map of the George S. Mickelson Trail


George S. Mickelson Trail

George S. Mickelson Trail

Mickelson Trail


109 miles




Deadwood, Lead, Dumont, Nahant, Rochford, Mystic, Hill City, Custer


rail trail, Black Hills National Forest, rural towns



Rapid City

The George S. Mickelson Trail is a 109-mile long, mostly unpaved trail that was built along an abandoned railroad bed. The route of the trail starts in Deadwood and goes south through the heart of the Black Hills National Forest and 20 miles west of the border with Wyoming. The south end of the trail is located in the town of Edgemont. This route is rich in history and beauty with a real sense of the Old West.

The route of the Mickelson Trail takes you through thick forests, past grassy meadows, over 100 scenic bridges and through 4 rock-lined tunnels. For the most part, the grades are gentle and the trail is family friendly. There are some stretches with steeper inclines. The trail is improved with crushed limestone and is not paved, so it is not appropriate for all varieties of bicycles. The trail is open for equestrians in summer and allows snowmobiles and cross country skiing in the winter months.

There is a fee for using the trail, visit the official website for current information and fee amounts. You need to be prepared when using this trail as there are long stretches between services. Weather conditions can change rapidly and you may encounter wildlife. Cell phone coverage can be spotty.

The north end of the Mickelson Trail is located in the town of Deadwood, South Dakota. Deadwood is west of Sturgis and northwest of Rapid City. There is a trailhead (Mile Post 108.8) with parking just off of Highway 85 across from Harrison Street. The trail takes off to the west from the trailhead. The trail takes a few winds then crosses Highway 385 to wander alongside Kirk Road south of the town of Lead. The trail splits into two in this area, one route stays alongside Kirk Road and heads closer to lead and has a spur trail that goes up to the trailhead on Hearst Avenue and goes by another trailhead off of Highway 85. The other route follows Whitewood Creek and is more direct. The two routes meet up again and continue as one trail.

The trail continues to the south for miles and most of its route is far away from the highway. There are a very few road crossings and few services along the way.

The south end of the George S. Mickelson Trail is located on the north end of the town of Edgemont, on County Road 185, just south of Highway 18. There is an official trailhead in town on 2nd Street between F Street and G Street.

The trailheads along the George S. Mickelson Trail each have parking and a restroom, some have running water, but this is seasonal. The trailhead locations are as follows (going north to south):

NameMile PostLocation
Deadwood 108.8 Sherman Street (U. S. Highway 85) across from Harrison Street (old train depot)
Lead 103.7 Hearst Avenue on the west side of the town of Lead. A spur trail leads down to the main trail
Kirk 105.3 On Kirk Road, south of the town of Lead. You have to travel west of the main part of town on Highway 14, then turn on Kirk Road
Sugarloaf 103.3 On U. S. Highway 85 at 0.75 southwest of the Kirk Road intersection
Englewood 98.5 At approx 4 miles south of Lead on U. S. Highway 85, take C. R. 205 to Brownsville Road (CR 227)
Dumont 92.6 10 miles south of the town of Lead on Rochford Road
Rochford 82.6 On Rochford Road, just east of the community of Rochford
Mystic 74.7 On Mystic Road, just west of intersection with C. R. 231, 12 miles north of Hill City.
Burlington Northern - Hill City 60.1 At Tracy City Park on the south side of Hill City along S. Newton Avenue.
The Mountain 49.6 On Village Avenue off of Highway 385, 3 miles north of Custer
Custer 44.5 At Harbach Park on Washington Street and 7th Avenue on the south side of the town of Custer
Stockade Lake 45 3 miles west of Custer along Highway 16A A spur trail leads back to the main trail
White Elephant 35.7 Along Highway 385 at approx 8.5 miles south of Custer
Pringle 32.1 At Railway Street and Main Street in the town of Pringle
Minnekahta 16.2 Just south of Highway 18 at 13 miles north of Edgemont
Edgemont 0 On 2nd Avenue between F Street and G Street. You need to ride along surface streets to get to the actual trail (zoom up map)


Following are links to official off-site resources to find out more details about the Mickelson Trail in South Dakota.