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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Mickelson Trail.
 
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Mickelson Trail Side Trips
 - 
Manny from Waitsfield VT on 01/18/2021 03:41 PM
My wife and I plan to ride the Mickelson Trail in September 2021. We are in our 70's but in good health. We would like to depart the trail to visit Mt Rushmore and Custer State Park. Our plan is to stay in Hill City and Custer. Any advice on routes to Mt Rushmore and Custer State Park that are not to demanding? Also advice on lodging will be appreciated.

 
ljk from New Castle Co on 02/19/2021 12:30 PM
My husband and I are planning a similar trip during late September as well. I would love to hear more about your plans. Thanks

 
Manny from Waitsfield, VT on 02/27/2021 02:30 PM
I have done Google searches and contacted the Hill City Chamber of Commerce, but have been unsuccessful in obtaining good information on the bike ride from the Mickelson Trail to Mt Rushmore. We are currently planning to visit Mt Rushmore before we start the ride from Deadwood.

 
Judi P from GRANTHAM, NH on 05/09/2021 02:22 PM
What I usually do is check out the routes that bike touring groups use. I believe Sojourner (from VT) has tours on the Mickelson. My husband and I (from NH) will be biking the Mickelson at the end of May (after the Cowboy Trail, Cardinal Greenway, KATY, Ohio-Erie Canal and Erie Canal Bike trails on way to MT).

 
Anonymous from Moab on 05/12/2021 06:00 PM
From just south of Hill city you can get on HWY 16 up to Mount Rushmore. Please understand there is no bike path along the road (busy) and it is uphill all the way to Mount Rushmore.

 
Ray from Bartlett - NH on 07/31/2021 02:39 PM
Judi,

You have some wonderful riding in your future. I am heading to Custer in 10 days and will work my way home riding in 12 states. Will be starting with the Mickelson and then heading east to Heartland, Paul Bunyan, Central Lakes, Lake Wobegon, Root River, Bike 4 in Wisconsin, Fox River, Tunnel Hill, Nickle Plate, Cardinal Greenway, Little Miami,
Pine Creek, D&L, D&R, Hudson Valley/Dutchess/Maybrook, Farmington Canal, Central Massachusetts, and finishing with the Presidential Rail Trail. Nice to be back on trails after last year.

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SMOKE
 - 
2MANDM from TULSA on 07/30/2021 12:24 PM
GETTING READY TO RIDE MICHELSON IN A COUPLE WEEKS. ANYONE ABLE TO GIVE INFO AS TO IF SMOKE FROM THE WILDFIRES IN SURROUNDING STATES IS IN THE AREA AND CAUSING CHALLENGES WITH BREATHING ON THE RIDE

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Trail conditions
 - 
Brandy from Spearfish on 07/29/2021 07:35 AM
Does anyone know of the trail conditions this morning?

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Tagged: Bavarian Inn

Pringle to Edgemont?
 - 
Katy from Atlanta on 07/25/2021 04:27 PM
After looking at the elevation chart, I’m wondering if the Pringle to Edgemont route is nice? We live in the Piedmont and ride hills regularly and would like a little break, if possible.

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Ebikes me on Mickelson?
 - 
Bruce from Iowa on 07/24/2021 10:37 AM
Are Ebikes allowed on the Mickelson Trail?

 
Alan from Boulder on 07/24/2021 11:55 AM
apparently so. I and my rriend used them and saw many others. Saw nothing that prohibited them.

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electrical outlets
 - 
Bob Blakey from lewiston idaho on 04/30/2021 10:46 AM
do any of the trail heads have electrical outlets available to charge an ebike battery if necessary.

 
patty on 06/24/2021 08:33 AM
wondering the same thing...

 
Andi on 06/27/2021 01:02 PM
Yes. There are several parks along the trail with outlets.

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Biking to Mt Rushmore from Rafter J near Custer
 - 
Tonya from Bangor on 06/21/2021 10:05 AM
Is it feasible to bike to Mount Rushmore, I understand there is a wide lane for bikers.

 
patty on 06/24/2021 08:18 AM
I am also wondering about biking to mt Rushmore from the Mickelson trail. once I heard that the road isn't safe for bikers ?

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Mystic
 - 
Jlybm on 06/14/2021 11:20 AM
Are there any local places to rent bikes in Mystic? Can’t find any on-line. Would like to bike with 3 kids (ages 14, 13 & 10) from dumont to mystic. All downhill and beautiful! (From what I read)

 
mark from MN on 06/22/2021 12:26 PM
We used - https://www.rabbitbike.com/ -- they were fantastic!

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Easy and scenic part of the trail?
 - 
Anonymous on 06/13/2021 11:03 AM
Would love some tips for the Mickelson trail. We'll be staying at the Rafter J RV park in Hill City July 18-21 and want to do a bike ride on the trail. It will be my wife and I (both in our 40s) and our boys aged 7 and 9. Which part of the trail would be best for scenery or most fun but not too strenuous for our boys?

 
Julie from Minneapolis on 06/14/2021 03:53 PM
Dumont or Engelwood to Deadwood is very scenic and almost all downhill!

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Return services
 - 
Hashslinger from Osakis Mn on 06/13/2021 02:53 PM
Does a service to return riders and bikes to their starting point exist?

 
DS on 06/14/2021 06:23 AM
Discovery tours out of Deadwood does. Highly recommend.

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Trail observations- first time rider
 - 
JD on 06/08/2021 07:20 PM
I enjoyed my 60 mile ride from Hill City to Edgemont. I was happy to pay the $4 fee.

I wanted to share a few observations.

South of Custard, the maintenance crew is loading sand on the trail. I question sand instead of gravel or pavement of some sort. I nearly crashed several times. I rode on the grass edge instead of the path.

At Pringle, the water pump does not work.

From mile marker 12ish to 7ish, there are several (4-6) wide gates closed/locked. It was tight for me to open the small gate and pass through without the gate hitting my bicycle.

At mile marker 1 and the nearby display, there is a definite lack of trail continuation to get to the city park in Edgemont. Eventually, I found my way.

 
JD on 06/12/2021 03:20 PM
More observations:

I rode the Deadwood to Hill City segment.

The route was well marked and thus easy to navigate.

I live in Kansas where everything is flat. The 2 major climbs gave me a tough challenge. The downhills afterward were a nice reward. The path is much firmer on this portion of the trail.

I was stopped on the trail near Rochford to verify that I paid the daily fee. I was asked to confirm payment, but not requested to show the paper.

On the path, I encountered maybe 20 riders throughout the day.

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Mickelson Trail closure in Lead
 - 
Ray (webmaster) on 06/08/2021 08:37 PM
A temporary trail closure will be in effect Monday, Jun 7 through July 1 on the Lead Spur of the Mickelson Trail in Lead.

Full news article:
https://www.newscenter1.tv/mickelson-trail-closure-in-lead-begins-monday/

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Pringle Trailhead in Pringle
 - 
Rosco 7 from Anthem on 06/05/2021 09:13 AM
Is there a place to camp for the night near the Pringle trailhead?

 
Ray (webmaster) on 06/08/2021 07:31 PM
If you go to AirBnB.com and search for Pringle SD, you'll find a log cabin and several campsites listed at "Plenty Star Ranch". The AirBnB maps makes it look like 2 or 3 miles north of Pringle.

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Parking for a week
 - 
melcooke from Winthrop, WA on 05/24/2021 10:28 PM
Does anyone know the parking arrangements for a vehicle that will be parked for a week while we are out riding?

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Accomodations
 - 
Sue from Traverse City, Mi on 05/07/2021 08:53 AM
Does anyone know if there are accomodations in Rochford or Pringle sling the Mickelson Trail? Thanks

 
Dennis from Fort Collins CO on 05/23/2021 12:52 PM
There’s a wonderful AirBnB in Pringle

 
Diane on 05/23/2021 07:31 PM
Do you have the name of the B&B in Pringle?

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Shuttle back to start?
 - 
Ds from Duluth, MN on 04/07/2021 11:30 PM
Is it possible to get a shuttle back to the starting point? Otherwise how do you get back to your car without doing the entire route again?

 
DLS from Indiana on 05/02/2021 05:29 PM
I am wondering the same thing. Have you learned if there is a shuttle?

 
Dennis from Fort Collins CO on 05/23/2021 12:54 PM
try Rabbit Bikes shuttle in Hill City. They are shuttling 9 of us from Edgemont to Lead. $38/ea

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Riding a tandem on trail
 - 
papa from SPRINGFIELD, MO on 04/21/2021 01:43 PM
Have ridden Katy from end to end on our tandem, can it be done on Michelson? Our tandem has 26 x1.25 tires, which worked well on Katy.

 
Dennis from Fort Collins CO on 05/23/2021 12:47 PM
we rode the Mick on a comotion speedster tandem in June 2017 on 700x35c tires. It was fine except a bit tricky in the sandy sections just before Edgemont. It may be more difficult if the trail gets very wet.
We also rode that tandem on the Allegeney and C&O.

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Easy one day ride out of hill city
 - 
Mjm from Glenrock wy on 05/19/2021 07:20 AM
I’m looking for any ideas on accessing the trail a few miles out of hill city. I know there is a few mile climb heading towards deadwood. I road this part a few years back and remember getting to a rest station with water and. Shade. And if I remember correctly it was a pretty easy ride to mystic from there with a couple tunnels. The person I’m riding with is just getting his strength back after a big operation last year and don’t want to climb up any long hills yet. So I would like to access the trail near that water/ rest station if we can if anyone has information or helpful ideas please let me know. Plan on doing this 2nd weekend in June 2021
Thanks mjm

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One day ride
 - 
bigD on 01/23/2021 05:53 AM
Looking to do the trail in one day. Tips on food, directions to services at certain mileposts would be appreciated. Any must have lunch stops

 
CO72 on 02/10/2021 08:01 PM
I plan to give it a shot in one day, as well. Looking for same tips.

 
mike on 02/12/2021 06:03 PM
There are places to stop with food in Rochford, Hill City, and Custer. Not much after Custer until Edgemont except some water stops,

 
Anonymous from Moab on 05/12/2021 05:55 PM
Done the trail many times. Best from north to south, more downhill than uphill.

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Pringle Trailhead in Pringle
 - 
Neil P. from Oxford on 05/07/2021 12:39 PM
Can I leave a car parked at the Pringle parking lot for a week-long bike trip in the Black Hills?

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Camping
 - 
Maddigan Oshea from North Dakota on 12/29/2020 12:59 PM
I am allowed to camp anywhere along the trail, or just camping and hotel sites?

 
Bill from Central Illinois on 03/14/2021 05:27 PM
From everything I've read trying to plan a trip, you can only camp in a few designated areas along the trail. There are also some National Forests along the trail where you can camp. But I do think setting up camp just anywhere along the trail is prohibited.

 
Tim from Bismarck on 03/22/2021 10:34 AM
I agree with the above comment. It seems like the trail is not really designed with the camping in mind.

 
Chuck on 05/04/2021 01:06 PM
The trail passes through the Black Hills national forest. Dispersed camping is allowed in national forests as long as you follow the rules. There is a mix of private property and national forest along the trail. You can look on the USDA website to locate legal areas for dispersed camping. When in doubt, you can contact the local Ranger. There is an office in Spearfish, but they are closed to covid right now.

 
Chuck on 05/04/2021 01:06 PM
The trail passes through the Black Hills national forest. Dispersed camping is allowed in national forests as long as you follow the rules. There is a mix of private property and national forest along the trail. You can look on the USDA website to locate legal areas for dispersed camping. When in doubt, you can contact the local Ranger. There is an office in Spearfish, but they are closed to covid right now.

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Pringle Trailhead in Pringle
 - 
Steve Willams from Oak Creek, Colorado on 04/27/2021 03:06 PM
Hello. Wondering if one could leave vehicles parked in Pringle for a 7 days period while we ride up and back to Deadwood?
Thanks, -Steve

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Trail Conditions
 - 
Brad from Thornton on 04/19/2021 11:06 AM
I know its snowing right know but any thoughts on the trail being passable for this Saturday?

 
Ed from Rapid City on 04/22/2021 10:48 AM
I am wondering this too. I am almost willing to bet that there are parts that have snow over the trail. we have had a dry spring but IDK. Been anxious to ride the trail.

 
Brad from Thornton, Co on 04/22/2021 11:07 AM
Thanks Ed for info. We are planning to ride it this Saturday unless I here there is to much snow from Hill City to Deadwood. I like to ride it from Edgemont to Deadwood.

 
Brad from Thornton, Co on 04/22/2021 11:29 AM
Thanks Ed for info. We are planning to ride it this Saturday unless I here there is to much snow from Hill City to Deadwood. I like to ride it from Edgemont to Deadwood.

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Bicycles in Hotel Rooms
 - 
Ed from Rapid City on 04/22/2021 10:54 AM
What hotels in deadwood allow you to bring a couple of bicycles into the rooms?

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Bike tires
 - 
Scott from SE MN on 03/09/2021 07:19 PM
Planning a trip with friends for May, and wondering about the trail surface. We all primarily ride road bikes on asphalt and are set up for that, mostly running 25mm tires. Short of purchasing gravel bikes, what would folks think best if we just want to put on wider tires? My wife and I rode the Katy Trail in MO and found that trail surface very coarse and loose in places, really slow going w/o mt. Bike style setup. On the other hand, some crushed limestone trails in nearby WI are easily managed on road bikes with no change in tires. We’d appreciate any advice, thanks!

 
Scott from in SE MN on 03/12/2021 09:33 PM
Let's try it as multiple choice:
(a) hard-packed soil, (b) fine crushed limestone, (c) loose gravel, pea/bean size, (d) loose gravel, walnut size, (e) railroad ballast...
Could anyone who's ridden the trail comment on the trail surface they've experienced? Thanks!

 
Dandy Don from Fairfield on 03/13/2021 09:41 AM
I have done Katy, Mickelson, C&O, Gap, Cowboy, etc. Used 35 and 38mm on a hybrid, towing a Bob Trailer. Zero problems and good grip. Have also seen 25-28s bog down.

 
Bill from Central Illinois on 03/14/2021 05:36 PM
Hi Scott, my family stayed in Hill City two years ago and we started thinking about riding the trail then. I asked around wanting to know if my 700x25 tires would work. Virtually, everyone we met while we walked the trail were on 35-40 or higher. All said they didn't think a 700x25 set up would work. So I purchased a gravel bike with 700x40 tires and I'm looking forward to making the trip in May also. Of course, I guess anything is possible, but in May the trail could still be a little sloppy making 25s that much harder. Good luck!

 
Tim from Bismarck on 03/22/2021 10:01 AM
I would not advise 25's. The conditions are pretty variable. Most of the trail is pretty finely crushed rock, but there are some wet areas and the stretch on the north is no longer railroad grade and can be muddy and likewise is not "flat." I personally would not do anything less than 40's.

 
Anonymous on 04/18/2021 12:13 PM
May 2021 on Mickelson will have patches & areas of wet, mud and very soft gravel stretches. The tire needs to maneuver in that.

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grade from Deadwood?
 - 
Alan from Boulder on 04/13/2021 01:40 PM
What is the grade of the climb out of Deadwood?


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Transportation from Edgemont to Valentine Ne?
 - 
SushiSeeker from Melbourne, FL on 03/27/2021 09:03 AM
Looking for a fast way to get to the Cowboy Trail. My friend and I are planning a self-supported ride along the Mickelson & Cowboy trails, and looking for a way to get between Edgemont SD and Valentine NE without riding the 200+ miles with little in-between. Any ideas? Thanks!

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Edgemont Trailhead in Edgemont
 - 
dawn danyluk from ORCHARD PARK on 01/27/2021 09:00 AM
is there overnight parking at the Edgemont trail head?

 
Tim from Bismarck on 03/22/2021 10:32 AM
There is parking in the town of Edgemont. We left a vehicle there and everyone in town seemed really appreciative of the commerce we brought.

 
Dandy Don from Fairfield on 03/22/2021 04:49 PM
Similar to Tim's experience, two years ago we parked 3 vehicles for several days, right on main street, (Ohio tags), and had no problems.
Super friendly folks all along the way east.

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trail info
 - 
mickey on 01/27/2021 09:19 AM
Is there ever an answer to all the questions?

 
CO72 on 02/10/2021 08:03 PM
Doesn't seem to be.

 
Scott from in SE MN on 03/12/2021 09:26 PM
LOL Just as in real life...more questions than answers. But seriously, it would certainly be helpful if a few more folks with Mikelson Trail experience & expertise would chime in with answers and opinions!

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DeadWheels Bike Rentals in Deadwood
 - 
edge from Backus, MN on 01/12/2021 10:20 AM
Planning a trip for fall -- Do you rent electric bikes? Are you selling the business or just the domain name?

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Granite Sports in Hill City
 - 
edge from Backus, MN on 01/12/2021 10:14 AM
Planning a trip -- Does Granite Sports rent electric bikes?

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National Forest Camping
 - 
Rob from Central New York on 11/27/2020 11:22 AM
Does anyone have any experience camping (front country or, preferably dispersed) in the Black Hills National Forest who biked the Trail during the day and camped at night?

Also open to experiences camping at Custer State Park or Windy Cave NP or even a KOA who biked during the day.

Please include personal experience rather than reference a place that you have not personally used.

Looking for ideas. Thank you.

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Fly fishing near Mickelson Trail
 - 
Brad from Colorado from Glenwood Springs on 07/28/2020 12:26 AM
I noticed on the Mickelson Trail map it says fly fishing opportunities. Anyone know which section of the trail has good fly fishing?

 
Rob from Central New York on 11/27/2020 11:17 AM
I would be interested in this as well. We travelled along a pretty brook around the Mystic Trailhead. I presume it holds fish, but not sure if it is all private property with no fishing easements.

Might be a good question for the National Forest Service.

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which way is better
 - 
mr_smith26 from Yankton on 11/24/2020 01:58 PM
Hey everyone, I rode this trail years ago and did about 65 miles both directions. I am looking at doing this in 2021, which way do you guys prefer and why. I looked at the map and it looks like North to South is the way to go, however I see the annual bike ride they go South to North. When I go for a bike ride, I am usually going 10-15 miles in a 1 1/2 with some hills.

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Elevation of Mickelson Trail
 - 
Cactus Wren from PHX on 10/03/2020 12:41 PM
What is the elevation of the Mickelson Trail. Just returned from the Black Hills & would like to bike the trail next year. Not sure how many miles a day to ride?

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Elevation of Mickelson Trail
 - 
Cactus Wren from PHX on 10/03/2020 12:40 PM
What is the elevation of the Mickelson Trail. Just returned from the Black Hills & would like to bike the trail next year. Not sure how many miles a day to ride?

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