Explore 11/20/15 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Great trail with some awesome views of the river. It can get difficult at times with inclines and declines. C route is the longest but probably has the best views of the river. Highly recommend this trail if your in Yankton looking for a moderately challenging trail with sights.

hiking
2 days ago

Not bad for Nebraska. Some decent inclines, decent views of the river, and trail is in good condition. Take bug spray!

hiking
5 days ago

I have known about this Trail since I was a kid and I've hiked several portions of it for most of my life. it has always been torn up from the horse traffic. but it is a large loop and has mostly treed areas.

We did the whole loop and found it challenging. We are both in good physical shape. Work out regularly with interval training and strength training. There were several long, steep climbs and descents. If we had had any rain, it would have been very slick with mud. Horses use the trail too and there were sections that were very churned up. That said, we did enjoy the views. I would also warn folks that the trail signs are confusing. I’m used to following blazes on the AT which I find much easier than the system the park uses. We will go back but be better prepared next time.

hiking
21 days ago

very steep and washed out on the one side. we took the easy way in and doubled back to avoid the washed out part.

Great trail, good workout, and well shaded. Would like to see better markings for the trail across intersections and the such. Got off the main trail several times.

Early morning... Sep 1 2018
Peaceful, quiet
Wildlife
Understand the sacred attachment to Natives
Easy walk

hiking
1 month ago

The description on the State park map doesn't match some of the trails. We hiked the trail 5 and 5a portion of the Hardwood trail. Lots of up and down action but the trail is very eroded from equestrian use and not well marked. I would not recommend hiking this trail in wet weather since there is no gravel and the soil can be very slippery.

hiking
2 months ago

Thinking back to June when REI had an event here to help repair the trail. There is so much damage from horses & just unkept areas. There are no blazes & in some areas it's hard to see where it connects. There are some arrows painted on the pavement to direct you in a couple of spots. There were just to many places that the entrance you had to duck down to walk through the next 2 miles or so. You had to walk out in the open, over paved areas & grassy fields all unmarked. there are a lot of hills & muddy area where you have to straddle each side of the dirt to walk through. All of these things made for not a good hike.

This is a great trail with many fun spots and lovely trees. It is not well marked. We had to use GPS with the app to find our way and that wasn't always correct. I wouldn't go if it has rained in the last three days as there are many muddy trails in shady areas. We went many days after a rain and we had to straddle some parts. There are many places along the route with water for refilling bottles.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice little trail in the state park. Offers great views along the ridge line. The trail is marked easy, but the first third is more moderate with steep decline and incline until you make your way to the ridge. Along the ridge the trail is rugged and extremely grassy. Watch for ticks, we saw several. The back half of the loop is maintained with gravel and sections of cut grass. That part offers benches spaced along the path. We did the hike in July. Will probably be nice in the fall/early winter as well.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice 2 mile loop but not for the faint of heart. It is listed as wheelchair friendly but the only way it would be wheelchair friendly is if your wheelchair were a bulldozer. The beginning of trail is narrow, uneven and very steep down and back up through a ravine which does not give any indication as to what the rest of the trail is like. Very scenic plenty of shaded areas. Looking forward to revisiting in the fall to view the colors.

I enjoyed this hike. This park is really beautiful, which is the biggest reason for the high rating. There are some signs on the trails, but I found them hard to navigate. I found no map online, and they were out of maps at the entrance, so I had to follow the trail recorded by others on this app. The different loops can definitely be confusing. I also would not rate this as easy—more like moderate to difficult. There were many steep inclines, the trails are not well maintained and hard to make out at some points, and certain areas were extremely wet and muddy.
Side note—photos of this park online feature a trail along the top of this beautiful hilltop, which is what drew me to Preparation Canyon. This loop is all forest and does not include that trail, which I did not know. You have to turn right at the entrance instead of left and follow the signs for the scenic overlook. There is a deck built into the hill that leads down into the trail. I followed the trail for about a mile, not sure how far it actually goes. But I would highly recommend going to the scenic overlook, as it was STUNNING.

Agree with previous comments regarding how horse traffic has ruined the trails for runners and hikers. Very narrow paths and lots of uphill/downhill trench straddling due to muddy conditions. Only saw 3 others besides our group yesterday and no horses. If you tire, there isn’t any place to rest. I’ll be back, though when the weather is cooler.

Trail Condition:
A few muddy spots, and fallen trees

Issues:
Equestrians destroying the paths, not well marked trails during road crossings, damn connection trail is marked with No Trespassing sign.

Experience:
Overall it was a fun trail. Not as hard as most people make it sound but for Kansas its a good trail. My favorite section was the uphill grade on the west side of the dam.

Did the whole 8+ mile hike. The trail is trashed by the horse traffic. I mean dung and destroyed sections of the trail. That's a pretty big deal considering that the width of the trail is tiny. On first time hiking I saw close to a dozen horse riders that made me to believe that this is not for human/dog traffic. Plus, no scenery what so ever and I'm never coming back.

Could be a fabulous trail for a good day hike, but horse traffic when the trail is wet has done a lot of damage. If it has rained in the past few days the trail is almost impassable with mud due to damage from horse traffic. Trail could also use some signage at several locations to keep hikers on course.

We walked the roads around the lake (the trails were pretty muddy). The hills were a good challenge and the scenery was peaceful!

picked a cold day to ride and somehow missed the south end of the trail. not well marked at south end or I was just too tired to see it! beautiful trail. didn't see a human for over 2 hours

5 months ago

This hike out in the random no-where caught me off guard to say the least. I figured it would just be an "alright" hike to stretch my legs after a 3 hour drive to the trailhead. Boy was I pleasantly surprised! Just the right length and had some views over the Midwest that I wasn't expecting. I make sure to mention this little gem to my friends going thru the area.

hiking
5 months ago

Walked trail 9, 10, 11 it was absolutely breathtaking with some pretty steep inclines which I loved, if your looking for an absolutely amazing day and a good workout with some breathtaking views I recommend this place, i drove 2 1/2 hours to go hiking here with my dog and the entry fee was $8 but that little bit of money for the parking ticket is worth every last cent

hiking
5 months ago

I think we picked a bad time to go as everything has recently been burned so the scenery was black and uneventful. The Indian Cave trail says “Dogs on Leash” however once hiking through a bunch of bullllshit because the markers and directions are a little confusing you finally get to it and it says “No Pets”. When you put in the trail in AllTrails it takes you to Trailhead 9, I believe. You hiked a bunch of wooded area until you come to the top where there is a campground sight and field. We took trail 11 because that’s where everyone said the cave started at. PLEASE BE CAREFUL, when I read all the stuff that Trail 11 was a “death trap” I scoffed it off. It is a very steep, very small and not well maintained trail down a cliff side. At some points if you were to fall it would be close to deathly. We hiked after a rain so add this trail plus mud with some grip for your feet is was miserable. At one point we were on our asses scooting down. You get to the end of it and the cave is nowhere to be found. Let alone no signs. However it says it starts at trailhead 11. Low and behold you have to walk down the road along the river about a football field and there it is, the big beautiful red staircase which said “No Pets”. All in all, was not worth the 4 hour drive. If it was closer it definitely is worth it. The park is giant and when everything turns green it will be beautiful. Plus, you can’t beat spending 5 hours outdoors and not seeing a single soul. Just you, the dogs and nature.

Fairly challenging with LOTS of hills. Good workout on a pretty, wooded trail.

We enjoyed backpacking here. Lots of up and down hills. It was muddy but the views were worth it.

We just came back from a two mile walk around this very nice 9 mile loop! This is easily the biggest body of water in the area, and the trails are so easy. Everything is clearly marked, and we even saw a runner with his dog at the start of the Boy Scout trail :-)

This is a very trafficked area, so don't expect a lot of privacy. We went on a Sunday at noon hoping to beat crowds and only saw a few friendly people. The further you go away from the mass of trails (and just follow the lake loop) the less people you see--but this is February. I couldn't imagine a quiet space in June or July.

This is still a great place to enjoy the water and beautiful trees!

I hiked in and stayed one night this weekend. Very happy with the place. Online maps are not entirely accurate for the 8 camp sites. Call their number or grab a map when you pay registration. I love that each spot is secluded from the others and a little ways off the trail. If you are carrying a pack the hills will challenge your legs.

can watch green glow of northern lights way off in the distance if it is a really clear night

hiking
8 months ago

Had a blast it's a very hiking friendly park. Very cool during Halloween

great trail with hills

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