Explore the most popular State Parks in South Dakota with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We hiked this with our 4 and 6 year old. They loved crossing the river! We didn't start in the right location, as we followed what was probably a fishing trail right along the lake in the beginning. We did follow the blue diamonds after the spillway.

First the app map directions to the trail head are wrong. Use the airport road to get to trailhead. Next, the state sign shows the trail as a one-way hike on a gravel fire road. But, the app guides you off the road onto an UNmarked trail loop back to the trailhead. Because the state has abandoned the loop, there is no trail at the trailhead to start the loop anti clockwise, so the gravel road starts you off clock wise and the app hike distance is a countdown. Worth doing because the APP is accurate keeping you on the old unmarked trail.

Beautiful views. Great short trail.

Absolutely beautiful. A challenge but worth it

Easy trail, great for everyone.

Strenuous challenge. Definitely take it clockwise! Views are great on the 1mi lake trail, conquering comes on the gulch trail. Look up and around often to catch multiple perspectives. Realized I’m very right foot dominant and left foot is supporting, highly analytical which made leaping across rocks, logs and creeks challenging and doubt-inducing. I’m very good at calculating risk, abilities and safest means while others are excellent t at quick reflexes and response time.

not too difficult, the kids had a bit of a rough time but still enjoyed it!

It was a beautiful trail but the conditions were really foggy today. We’d be happy to return to this trail again.

backpacking
blowdown
3 days ago

Absolutely incredible! We added some more miles to it and it was fantastic!!!

Loved this quick hike to stretch our legs. Well maintained and marked, kid friendly (but keep them close) and beautiful views of the lake. The ground “glitters” if you look close- there is mica in the soil.

hiking
3 days ago

Great early morning hike, slick but I’d rate moderate if in good shape. Beautiful

hiking
4 days ago

Downloaded the app halfway through. Recommend shoes with good flex and taking the trail counterclockwise for beautiful creek walks and the prize near the end.

hiking
closed
off trail
4 days ago

I rated this a 2 star only because Custer State Park does not mark it as a 6 mile loop anymore. We headed up the Barnes Canyon Trail which is 4 miles one-way Trail (Road). But when we got off the road to follow All Trail’s loop, it was often difficult to find the path, especially toward the end. I assume it will only get less and less use since it’s not marked anymore it will be come more difficult to follow. There were several creeks to cross so if it had rained more recently, they may have been higher. A lot of the trail was very low and would be muddy also if it had been raining much. In short, I don’t think All trails should list the loop anymore.

Great trail in the Black Hills. Amazing views without a big time commitment. If the full Black Elk Peak trail is too much definitely consider this one. Very fun with some scrambling and views in every direction at the top

hiking
5 days ago

Amazing rock formations and views. Great if you're passing through and stopping for a few minutes or a few hours. climb to the peak for the best views

on Sunday Gulch Trail

muddy
5 days ago

Go counter clockwise if you want more moderate. Clockwise if you want it strenuous. Took us 3 hours to complete.

Beautiful trail that loops around the lake. Amazing scenery no matter where you look. Perfect for kids and families.

hiking
7 days ago

The first part is the worst incline

I had no idea South Dakota was this beautiful! We loved this hike. We felt like we were in Colorado. The views of the spires are amazing.The trail is well maintained and a great adventure.

Nice family friendly trail. The signs along the way are interesting to stop and read with the history of the trail’s namesake. Since it was off the beaten path we were the only ones there. During busy season the cabin is open but was not during our hike. Peeks in the windows was good enough though.

A beautiful short hike. Some rock climbing so may not be suitable for very little feet. Saw mama and her baby geese.

As some have pointed out this is not the short trail that goes around the lake. To access this trailhead park at the legion lake lodge and walk across to the campground. Go to the back of the campground and the trail head is near campsite 11 just to the right. Do not try and park in the back of the campground as the loop in the back must be kept open for trailers to turn around. The trail does have some steep sections but not much different than a lot a trails in the black hills. Some have said this trail does not have views and that’s not the case. About halfway through the loop, the trail follows a steep ridge and there are really views of the surrounding hills, the plains stretching to the east, and a couple spots where legion lake below IS visible if you stop to look. Part of recognizing views is simply taking time to look for things. The trail is actually fairly well marked and in areas that aren’t as open or where there are multiple turns there are blue diamonds on the pines to follow at about 50yd intervals. Footing can be tricky on some sections with heavy pine needle coverage, so it’s a balance of watching your footing and looking up periodically to follow markers. Our 6 and 9 year old kids did fine on this despite being steep. The fact it’s only about a mile helped. Good one to enjoy!

Loved this! Note: it’s 2.3 miles out and back (not 1.6). Did this on 5/25 and it was gorgeous. Only saw 2 other groups, which was nice. My dog did it without problems, but he’s big, so he could hop up and down some of the boulders.

Such a Beautiful hike. The kids loved crossing all the little bridges! We walked within close distance of two peaceful buffalo!!! The view at the top was incredible. Be prepared for uphill hiking. Would totally recommend this trail.

hiking
8 days ago

Considering the climb up and back down not sure I would call this an easy hike. Also was disappointed that were not many cairns on the trail.

Fairly easy trail as is old fire/logging road. Nice trail

Several informational kiosks on the trail. Nice loop trail.

The Spires are Jaw-Dropping when going up to Devil's Tower. And mind-bending when walking amidst them. Easy to tack on with the Harney-Devil Loop hike.

hiking
8 days ago

Go CLOCKWISE---not CCW. Finish with the water-climb going up---Great way to end a scenic jaunt.

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