Explore the most popular forest trails near Custer with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
11 hours ago

The best part of lovers leap trail was the views from the top. Wow!!!! If you want to shorten your hike, when you get to the split go left. When you get to the viewpoint turn and go back. By going right you will see a cool stream, perfect for dipping your toes. We saw a deer in this portion. There is a lot of poison ivy on the stream side of the trail. Wear long socks.

11 hours ago

With every step, you felt closer to Mother Earth. The stream crossings, the rolling prairie filled with wild flowers, cactus, grasshoppers, were a sight to behold. We saw lots of prairie dogs and heard coyotes in the distance. Buffalo were in the area but we didn’t see any. The warm breezes were so beautiful and peaceful. A comfortable hike. Just over 2 miles. Cannot rate easy because of the hills, and some lack of shade.

hiking
12 hours ago

The views of the needles were stunning on this hike. Wildflowers, stream crossing and spots to climb rocks on your way up a moderate hike. Lined with wild raspberries, it made it easy to stop and take a look around you. When you get to the trail signs, you are surrounded by granite needles. Meandering is highly recommended.

Great trail and amazing views, particularly atop Little Devil.

Beautiful view at top!

Beautiful Scenery!

Did this trail in reverse, up 9 and down 4. #9 was wide and in great condition; amazing views. #4 was narrow and less traveled but with some beautiful views of the Cathedral Spires. Took it slow and easy with my 4 year old hiking alongside. Round trip was about 4 hours.

One of the best hikes in the Black Hills.

hiking
5 days ago

Worth it.

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.

Great trail with beautiful views. I did this with my 63 year old parents and while it did take a bit longer than expected everyone enjoyed it. Not much shade after the first couple of miles, so be prepared. I recommend packing a lunch and bringing plenty of water. Several great places near the fire tower at the summit to sit, eat and enjoy the views.

Awesome fun trail! Easy!

Loved the views!!!!!

Did this trail and loved it. Great views

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

First time out there and trail 9 was everything we hoped it would be! Come prepared for some mud and an afternoon thunderstorm

hiking
11 days ago

There are 2 Legion Lake Trails. One, the one I believe listed here, starts at the Legion Lake Campground travels straight up for 1/2 mile and then loops back down for 1/2 mile. There is no view at the top. The trees are tall and all you can see is trees, no lake. Kind of disappointing. 5 year old did not like this hike! 7 & 9 tolerated it because they are old enough to know that one foot in front of the other is the best way through it. Also it's not always easy to see the trail but the markers are easy to follow. That was a good lesson for the kids. Sometimes you have to look up to see the trail! The Legion Lake trail around Legion lake is a nice little stroll. When we'd head to the swim beach we'd go right from the entrance, around the lake, over the little dam and then to the swim beach. This is easy and pretty and gives a variety of views of the lake.

What a great hike! I began at 5:45 pm tonight and made it up #4 in exactly 90 minutes (didn’t stop). I took #9 down and made it back with 45 minutes of daylight. The hike was worth every minute, and I only saw a total of six people on the entire hike.

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.

This was an amazing trail to hike! My father and I spent the morning of our trip to the black hill here and couldn’t have asked for a better trail.

Beautiful trail with some picturesque views. We started out using Trail 4 from Sylvan Lake and looped around, coming back Trail 9 ending at Sylvan Lake. It took us 3.5 hrs (started at about 12:30p local) with several stops to complete our hike around the loop. Trail varies from rocky to mushy to dry and flat.
Well worth the hike. Come prepared for an afternoon thunderstorm that will last 1-3 hrs (we got the 2 hr variety). I am a fan of trekking poles and they helped greatly to negotiate the steep rocky inclines. As many others have noted, parking at Sylvan Lake can be problematic.

Nice trail, pretty heavily trafficked though. Great views from the top!

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

Very busy trail, but it is vacation season right now and also a weekend. Planning to go again closer to fall when there will hopefully be a few less people. This was a really enjoyable trail. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to enjoy the views since it was so foggy. Just an extra reason to go back!

hiking
16 days ago

Great trail. Beautiful Scenery. Not too crowded when we were there in late May. 5, 7, & 9 year olds did great. Our 5 year old never once asked for shoulders and would stop, look around and exclaim, "Mama, it's beautiful!" Highly recommend. And the scenic drive along the Needles Hwy to the trail head is excellent as well!

Great trail. Only problem was it was very populated. Go early to avoid growds. Took us 2.5 hours round trip. We had a good steady pace on the way up. On the way down we had to stop to let people by far too many times. Have fun.

Such a fun trail. We arrived at 8:00, the parking lot was already about 1/3 full. We did trail 9 up and 4 back with our 5 kids. The way up to the fire tower was very muddy, but had beautiful sweeping views of the valley below. Lots of wonderful photo opportunities. Gypsum and quartz lined the trails and made the trail glitter in the sunlight. The fire tower itself was really fun to explore as well as the surrounding rocky area/boulders at the top. Trail 4 on the way back had less mud and more wildflowers. There were lots of wild raspberries lining the trail to graze on as we went.

Very rocky paths which turn to streams after rainfall. You may wish to time your hike around storms.

A little challenging for small children and older adults. Offer ‘s an outstanding views of the black hill country

Very nice views across the rolling prairie hills! Wildflowers were beautiful! About halfway round we ended up in buffalo territory fortunately they were to the right where the trail turned left. We could certainly hear and smell them though! Great quick outing 1~1.25 hour trip!

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