Touring the Mickelson Trail in the Black HillsAlan Severn
Two of the four riding days were short, leaving time for Mount Rushmore, horseback riding (with me on the largest, slowest horse!), canoes, a visit to the immense Crazy Horse sculpture or the Needles Highway in Custer State Park. The other two program days were riding, including shuttle time.
Evening programs were outstanding: a demonstration about Lakota History and Culture, by Jay Red Hawk. There was also a demonstration of birds of prey (far more informative than the brief ones of Pedal the Plains).
The program is typically offered just before Labor Day, when the host location no longer has school groups The all-in cost of the program was $829 (single or double occupancy). Staffing was more than adequate; I can’t see how they broke even on a group of 16.
The Black Hills is the scenic part of South Dakota, and the Mickelson Trail makes the most of it. In turn, this program makes the best of the Mickelson Trail.
George S. Mickelson Trail
Open: Year-round, from dawn to dusk Length of trail: 109 miles with 15 trailheads, from Edgemont to Deadwood Trail surface: Packed gravel.
Trail Map: http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/mickelson-trail/map.aspx
Road Scholar Website: http://www.roadscholar.org/