When you visit the Black Hills area of South Dakota, there are so many things to do and see, but if you are a fitness enthusiast and enjoy an active lifestyle, you may only be interested in those hot spots in the Black Hills that encourage you to be active and meet your fitness needs. There are quite a few interesting recreational places in the area that require moderate to intense levels of physical activity, but the following are some of the more spectacular places to see and experience depending on how active you want to be.
A view of the Black Hills from Storm Mountain
In order to see Thunderhead Falls, you must walk a short distance through the forest and across a bridge to the cave entrance and then a moderate walk is required through the cave to get the loud and rumbling but escpecially surprising Thunderhead Falls!
The highest natural point in South Dakota, Harney Peak, is now called Black Elk Mountain and in order to reach the top of the mountain you must hike up. There are several mountain trails to choose from. Some are considered easy while some are very extreme and difficult even if you are physically fit. There are some trails that allow horses, but if you are not planning to ride a horse, try to avoid these especially during the summertime so that you are not fighting off horseflys during your hike. Once you get to the top, you will be rewarded with a magnificent view. The journey down can be harder than the hike up the mountain, so be sure to rest up at the top and drink plenty of fluids.
Mickelson Trail, named after and founded by George S. Mickelson is a famous national trail that can be used for walking and biking in the summer, or cross country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. It is a trail that is about 50 miles long and winds throughout the most intimate areas of the Black Hills with its ravishing creeks and charming meadows. The intention, according the trails.com is for this trail to reach 110 miles when it is completed.
Storm Mountain is a unique and distinguished trail that may be considered surprisingly rare! It is located less than a mile down the road that is just west of the old town of Rockerville and the trail begins on the side of the mountain. It is not just a hiking trail, although a mountian bike could be very difficult to carry up some of the steep ravines that are further ahead, it can be done. If you continue on, you will cross over a few small natural creeks and climb up some very steep rocks along the side of another mountain. Once to the top, there is a much easier to follow and wider trail that will take you on a long journey that may never end? If you go in the fall and are lucky, you may find some wild raspberries to eat along the way.
In the Black Hills National Forest, there are random trails amoung the numerous defined trails that can be found surrounding lakes, campsites, or other popular recreational areas. These are located just off the beaten path almost anywhere in the Black Hills area. In the spring, summer, and fall, these splendid mountain trails are surrounded by the lavish beauty of the quiet forest breeze!