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Trail observations- first time rider

JD on 6/8/2021 7:20:44 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 6/12/2021 3:20:43 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.