Billings, MT (7/13/2010) — Home to Bison, Crazy Horse, Mount Rushmore and the outlaw town of Deadwood, the Black Hills of South Dakota have long played an important role in American history. Now bicyclists, history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts can discover the wonders of the Great Plains while exploring one of the country’s best “Rails to Trails” pathways with the six-day, five-night Austin-Lehman Adventure’s Black Hills Biking Adventure, September 5 – 10, 2010.
This all-American adventure begins in Sturgis, home of the World’s Largest Motorcycle Rally and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame, and then heads to the outlaw town of Deadwood, where Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp and Buffalo Bill once saddled up. Guests then peddle a portion of the 119-mile long Mickelson Trail following the historic Edgemont Burlington Northern Rail Line, which served gold country for nearly a century.
The Mickelson Trail was named one of the top 25 most memorable and influential rail-trails by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nonprofit group that promotes transforming abandoned railroad lines into recreation trails. “The route takes us south through the heart of the Black Hills,” explains Dan Austin, ALA’s co-founder and director. “Following easy grades and gently rolling terrain, we will cross over more than 100 historic railroad bridges and pass through four rock tunnels.”
Guests bike 15 to 50 miles per day, with a day spent hiking the base of Mount Rushmore and viewing Crazy Horse monument; cycling the wildlife loop, where sightings of bison, pronghorns, elk, white tail, mule deer, bighorn sheep and coyotes are rampant; and visit Wind Cave National Park, which features an underground world 80-plus miles of passages that intertwine in a complex, three-dimensional maze.
The Labor Day Black Hills trip (Sept 5-10) is priced all-inclusive at $1998 per person, double occupancy ($580 single supplement). Packages begin and end in Rapid City. Additional Black Hills trip dates are September 12-17 and September 19-24, 2010. Pricing includes nights in a series of distinctive lodges and inns, all meals, ground transportation and guides; bikes and equipment are provided. Go to: www.austinlehman.com/trips/south_dakota_black _hills_bike/79.php