Both Dakota’s were entered into the Union November 2, 1889. Since then, the North has become known for oil, while the South is popular for the Gutzon Borglum masterpiece of our founding fathers carved in stone.
But, there’s more to South Dakota than Mt. Rushmore. The Black Hills have become a popular playground for hikers, climbers, and mountain bikers, and while the majority of trails are concentrated on the western side of the state, there are also networks along the northeastern border of the Dakota’s, and south near Sioux City. South Dakota mountain biking has something to offer everyone. Check out each portion of the state.
Mountain Biking in Northeast South Dakota
Offering three miles of trail, Richmond Lake Recreation area might not be a place to write home about, but it’s notable for the area. If you’re passing through Aberdeen, check out this small network of trails through meadows and along a lakeshore. The lush greenery might make you forget where you are.
Mountain Biking in Southeast South Dakota
With thirty total trails covering 38 miles, there’s enough to keep riders occupied in southeast South Dakota. Most notably, Mitchell hosts 8 miles of trails for beginner to intermediate riders. Trail networks here are easy to connect, and with different variations, can become a noteworthy, athletic ride.
Mountain Biking in Southwest South Dakota
Southwest South Dakota hosts the majority of mountain biking trails in the state with over 280 miles of single and double track goodness. One of the most popular trails, the Centennial, runs 111 miles, north-south, from Bear Butte State Park to Elk Mountain Campground. It passes through the Black Hills, by Mount Rushmore, and along numerous rivers and streams. Check out the full trail map here.
It’s worth mentioning the Dakota Five-O Course, a mountain bike race held on labor day each year. The course is one of the more challenging in the state, with a 22% max grade, and 5,745’ of ascent. Riders enjoy this trail year-round for its ridgelines, meadows, and views.