I was vacationing near Lead, South Dakota, and headed out for a run on the Mickelson Trail.
|Kirk Road Trail head! |
This particular part is a loop up and down a really big hill. It's a rail trail so it's theoretically not too steep - but we later went on a 1880's steam train, and they explained these were some of the most severe rail grades around.
|Rough Map - I started at the Kirk Road trailhead|
|The trail - near top of mountain|
The George S. Mickelson Trail
is 175km long! So I barely scratched the surface here - and it was amazing.
The trail was really nice - gravel, firm surface, very suitable for trail running and biking. I really wish I had my cyclocross bike with me! Someday I'll come back and experience the rest of it. The Black Hills area is just so beautiful - hills, wildlife, and a really cool sub-culture Wild West feel.
|View from the top of Lead, SD|
|Elevation (Counter-Clockwise, Starting @ Kirk)|
1880 Steam Train
|One of about 20 deer I saw - most scurried off, this one was nice enough to pose|
|1880s steam train you can take from Hill City to Keystone.|
We did. It was awesome.
If you're a rail buff... this is a must-do. It's an 1880's steam train
that runs on similar tracks to the one the rail trail follows. 2 hour journey, it's just an impressive piece of business.
I've always pictured in my head what it must have looked like when these trains occupied the rail trails - this brought that to life. The train struggled up those same kinds of grades I did! And screeched as it braked down the other side... all just awesome.
Book early though - it sells out!!!
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