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Chris from Hernando Ms. on 4/20/2024 3:06:20 PM:
Understand the Sentenial Hiking trail is very near to the Mickelson trail. Is this also a popular hiking trail?, I am interested in hiking the trail from Edgemont to Deadwood in September. Appreciate any comments on the subject.

 
Dan W from Minneapolis, MN on 5/27/2024 2:39:33 PM:
The Centennial Trail is a 100+ mile trail that runs more or less parallel to the Mickelson. Some parts of the Centennial are quite popular, but many parts are very quiet and remote. Except for the Wind Cave National Park and Black Elk/Norbeck section it is also open to mountain bikes, though it's not as popular for mountain biking as the dedicated trail systems. One stretch of a few miles is also open to ATVs, though you're not likely to have to deal with that.

It is only "very near" the Mickelson trail if you're in a car (or looking at maps while sitting on a computer five states away!) While they're never more than 10-15 miles apart, that's a pretty long hike (like, a day or longer) in each direction to connect the two. If you were on a bike, connecting between the two would likely involve either riding on busy, narrow highways overloaded with vacationers in RVs, or on remote, hilly gravel roads that don't necessarily connect the two in much of a straight line.

As for connecting between the Mickelson and the Centennial on foot, there may be a few places (like the Black Elk Wilderness or the Flume trail) where you could do that on hiking trails, but why? There are hundreds of hiking trails in the Black Hills. The Centennial would be very low on my list if you're hiking the Mickelson and want to venture off it to do some "real" hiking. Not that it isn't a great trail, but it's not exactly "near' when you're on foot. Seems to me these two trails are separate picks. Better hiking picks close to the Mickelson would be Deerfield Trail, the Flume Trail or the magnificent Black Elk Wilderness. There are also numerous great hiking opportunities off Spearfish Canyon (haven't done them, but hope to hit some when I'm there next month), and you could probably exit the Mickelson somewhere between Lead and Englewood and head across the mountains on quiet dirt roads to those areas.

I'm not an expert on the Black Hills by any means, and others can probably provide better hiking suggestions than me, but I can at least share this much.