A sampling of National Recreation Trails in the news or recently designated. The NRT program showcases the diversity of trails across America, from our cities and suburbs to the deserts, waterways, and high mountains.
Every kind of trail activity is represented in the listing of designated NRTs. Besides hiking and bicycling, the system includes water trails, motorized routes, snow tracks, greenways, and equestrian paths.
Search all of South Dakota's designated National Recreation Trails in the Online NRT Database
one of the longest trestle bridges on the George S. Mickelson Trail
(photo by Brooke Smith)
Prairie Winds Trail — Located in Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, this 3/4-mile walking/hiking trail passes through a variety of habitats, including prairie grasslands, wetlands, and woodlands. The trail holds historical significance as well, preserving the site of South Dakota's first Catholic mass in 1845. With interpretive signage as a guide, this scenic trail is a prime location for wildlife observation and offers visitors the opportunity to observe white-tailed deer, waterfowl, and songbirds (designated 2005).
George S. Mickelson Trail — Spanning 114 miles across 4 counties, this "crown jewel" of the state park system provides a unique educational and recreational experience for visitors of all ages. Winding through the heart of the Black Hills utilizing numerous bridges and tunnels, this rail-trail brings to life the area's rich history with stories of American Indians, miners, railroad workers, and many others. In addition to its scenic and historic features, the trail is enjoyed by hikers and mountain bikers and has provided an economic boost for communities throughout the region (designated 2004).
Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Trail — This trail is located along the Missouri River in Pierre and Fort Pierre, South Dakota and links over 30 miles of trails with nearly 50 historic, cultural, and recreational sites. The dramatic changes of scenery range from an urban waterfront and dense woodlands, to river-bottom cattails and flowers, meadow grasses, and open prairie vistas surrounded by craggy bluffs. This area includes a number of treasures: Lewis and Clark's camp site, a winter haven for eagles, and award-winning fishing along the trail (designated 2002).
Spirit Mound Summit Trail — Although less than a mile long, this scenic prairie trail offers a wealth of opportunities for recreation, human history interpretation, and wildlife observation. This loop trail provides a glimpse of the Lewis and Clark expedition and includes Spirit Mound, one of the few remaining sites where visitors can stand where these famous explorers once stood. In addition to opportunities for hiking and cross-country skiing, this section of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail offers an amazing, panoramic view of the state (designated 2004).