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

Geology Map
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Stunning trail! I’m very uncoordinated, so the boulders near the water gave me some issues, but there are plenty of handrails to hold onto. Many water crossings and great views. Variations in terrain make this trail a lot of fun.

This is my second trip to the preserve this summer. Love the fact that there is shade everywhere courtesy of the many cottonwood, mesquite and willow trees that envelope you as you walk. The preserve contains several short trails that intersect and loop around. All are easy and well marked except for the Lyke's Lookout trail, which is moderate and takes you an elevation that overlooks the entire area. There were 2 problems with that trail. First, it is not marked and difficult to find the entrance. I was unable to find it, but fortunately a volunteer there steered me to the entrance. The second problem was that the plank crossing the river (more of a creek, actually) was washed away by recent monsoons and will not be replaced until monsoon season is over. So shoes got muddy getting to Lyke's Lookout. The place is surely serene, but did not see any wildlife although plenty of different bird calls were heard along the way.

Only 2.8 miles even says that at the trail head and is listed as strenuous. A good trail did it counter clockwise and that is definitely the more difficult way. Not a good trail if you have little ones and dogs should NOT be allowed!

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful scenery; hands down one of my favorite trails in South Dakota!

Beautiful Scenery!

A easy hike in the white sands. Very beautiful. Remember to take a sunglass as the white sands reflect the sunlight strongly.

hiking
3 days ago

Walk to the bottom of the crater. The red mountain top of the crater is beautiful and impressed.

hiking
3 days ago

Very short trail. I hiked it together with Notch trail.

hiking
3 days ago

Just a study of the fossil and geologic age. Not a scenic trail. Good for kids to learn.

You can see the cliff like a bowl and notice the abundant vegetation induced by the water flow down from the cliff. Besides there is not much to see.

I hiked only portions of this, rather than the entire trail because I was deviating to other trails on the same trip. The miles of this trail I hiked had me pass Emerald Pools, which was lovely. I also thought the view was incredible once you pass Emerald Pools, where I was looking down, through the valley.

Challenging but worth it!

We did this in combination with the Palmetto trail. Fun walk through the swamp and marsh. Very hot and humid. Lots of bugs, spiders, a snake, and several alligators along the trail.

This trail takes a little effort, but is not overly difficult. The views are amazing and there are plenty of opportunities for rock scrambling. Parking is somewhat limited, so the trail does not get overly busy.

Fun, easy, good for kids and dogs. Beautiful views of Minnehaha Falls.

Well worth the drive and a great hike for children. The swinging bridge and falls made it well worth the trip. We had a 70 year old and a 7 year old and the hike was enjoyable for all.

on Lake Sylvan Trail

hiking
7 days ago

Love this lake, very easy trail. When visiting Custer state park, we always stop and walk the lake

Awesome fun trail! Easy!

Stretch before you head back up -- it'll help!

Great little hike with a beautiful waterfall as payoff. There are a few really muddy spots on the trail so make sure you have the correct shoes.

The map on this app combines the .4 mile unpaved Engine House Ruins Trail (a point to point trail) with the 1 mile paved Braille loop trail. The Engine House Ruins Trail starts halfway around the loop of the Braille Trail at the old roofless rock engine house building and passes by an old flooded quarry before connecting back up with the Braille Trail. The Braille Trail passes by the same quarry on the opposite side from the Engine House Ruins Trail. The trail is very busy on summer weekends but gives a nice view of the Elephant Rocks in the park.

Nice trails, main trails well traveled and wide; would have liked more blazes along the trail. Some overlooks were narrow and not well defined. Some had great views, others had views obscured by trees. Nice swimming near the nature center and suspension bridge. Very crowded after lunch - especially by the bridge and at the main falls. Get there early and you'll practically have the trails to yourself.

Trails were a little muddy which was the only trouble I seen while hiking. Would highly recommend hiking this trail some very spectacular views.

scenic driving
12 days ago

It is beautiful here! We drove the loop which leads down to New River and let the kids play in the water. Great place for taking pictures.

Short, uphill loop with a fantastic view. Super close to the visitor center.

Great trail. Hiked with wife and four sons (15, 14, 11, and 8). Kids loved the rock scrambles. Views were amazing the whole way up and down. Seemed longer than 1.6. Sign there says 2.2 round trip. Would have been 5 stars but trailhead was jammed, limited parking. Hiked today, a Tuesday in July.

hiking
15 days ago

This is a beautiful hike to a waterfall.

scenic driving
15 days ago

Breath taking place. So many beautiful sights

hiking
15 days ago

Very interesting landscape. Beautiful views of the volcano.

Beautiful scenery, not quite as crowded as Black Elk Peak. Would definitely go again.

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