A Million-Acre Playground
The Rushmore Region is a great place to work, but it's a better place to play. It's a million-acre playground with world-class trout fishing, world-class rock climbing, thousands of miles of hiking, biking and snowmobile trails, five national parks, monuments and memorials and a myriad of big-game hunting opportunities. A few highlights:
Hiking and biking
The 110-mile Mickelson Trail, a rails-to-trails project, runs from Deadwood to Edgemont. It offers some of the best bicycling in the United States. For backpackers, the Centennial Trail will take you to some of the most isolated backcountry spots in the Black Hills. Many cities have their own trail systems, including Rapid City's Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park and Spearfish's Lookout Mountain.
Rapid Creek and Spearfish Creek sustain naturally reproducing trout habitats. Smaller streams offer good fishing as well. Sheridan Lake, Pactola Lake, Deerfield Lake, Angostura Reservoir and Belle Fourche Reservoir yield a variety of fishing opportunities aboard boats and on the shore.
Angostura Reservoir, at 4,400 acres, and Belle Fourche Reservoir, with 8,000 acres, are the largest and most popular areas for boating. Kayakers and canoists have more choices, ranging from the bays of Pactola Reservoir to the lakes inside Custer State Park.
The Rushmore Region has two downhill ski areas: Mystic Miner Mountain Resort has 44 runs and a 700-foot drop; Terry Peak Ski Area has 30 trails and a 1,000-foot drop. Cross-country ski areas include Eagle Cliff, Big Hill, Beaver Creek and Bear Mountain. Snowshoeing is popular throughout the Black Hills.
Black Hills National Forest has 30 campgrounds, Custer State Park has 13. In addition there are scores of private campgrounds and RV parks scattered throughout the region. The variety ranges from full-service RV resorts such as the Palmer Gulch KOA to the bare-bones sites such as the French Creek Natural Area.