Boland Ridge Trail is a 5.4 mile out and back trail located near Buffalo Gap, SD and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from April until October.
Pretty cool trail. Saw plenty of buffalo and great views
A very prairie trail. We saw Bison, Antelope, and deer. Start early in the summer to beat the heat. Pretty views.
Excellent 2-4 hour day hike for beautiful scenery, wildlife viewing and good exercise. Optimal time to arrive is sunrise for wildlife viewing and to beat the summer sun rays that can be excessive if one waits to middle of day. Follow route map directions carefully because there are multiple animal trails that can lead one off trail course and because NPS sign posts are knocked down. NPS does not bury sign posts in ground, but stick them in a few inches and base support the thin posts (actually thin sticks) with rocks. I found most trail sign posts lying in the grass and spent part of my time sticking them back in the ground and basing them with rocks. Trail is well define, easy to moderate. Only on direct ascent up ridge pass is moderate effort required. Hikers with modest orienteering skills can make this a full day hike by looping north and bushwhacking along the ridge, then down the ridge and back through the grassland to the trailhead. Trailhead road is seen easily from ridge and one could head to road and then walk south to trailhead. One only can loop north because the Boland Ridge trail ends at the South Park boundary where a fence separates public park land from private ranch land. I give this trail a four star rating for beautiful scenery, good chance for wildlife viewing, solitude and long enough to give one good exercise. I do wish the NPS, though, would make this a long day hike of 10-12 miles by looping the trail north, then west and finally south back to trailhead.
This trail was better than we expected. We arrived an hour after sunrise so Wind Cave National Park would be more visible with the sun behind us during the climb. Being lush and green due to alot of rain lately the trail was pretty much non existent. However, we could see the area it climbed up the ridge and just headed out cross country. Once on the ridge, stakes marked the path so it was easy to just walk in that direction without a trail. There were no people, no sounds other then wind, birds and the buffalo! Go early, we saw several elk, coyote, bison, prong horn....