Kasey here, Field Operations Liaison/Guide for Austin-Lehman Adventures. As a guide of our new South Dakota Adventure last year, I am so stoked about this trip that I’m coming at you today with my top 5 reasons to pack your bags and head on over to the Black Hills with ALA! And we’re off.
1. The Mickelson Trail – Ahhh, Isolation
If you’ve ever wanted to ride alone on a beautiful bicycle trail, then check our South Dakota cycling tours! We spend a few hours here and there throughout this six day adventure biking the 109 mile Mickelson Trail. This crushed limestone and gravel trail travels up and down through towering ponderosa pine forests and traverses private farmland full of haystacks and cows. And the best part – there’s a good chance that you won’t see another biker on this deserted trail!
2. The Towns – A Look Back in Time
South Dakota is full of those towns that you’ve heard of but have never been to. You’ll witness the vivacity of Deadwood, a lively little town in the midst of the Black Hills National Forest, famous for its historic characters like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Sturgis, a normally sleepy town for most of the year, transforms into a rough and tumble motorcycle rally each August where people travel from around the world to partake in some motorcycle madness!These are just a few of the towns you’ll explore, by foot and by bike, that are vibrant with stories of the past.
3. Custer State Park – Wild Burros!!
Custer State Park, South Dakota”™s largest and first state park, is home to a wide array of wildlife from its famous herd of 1500 free-roaming bison to pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep. You”™ll even get to meet the friendly wild burros who roam freely in the southern section of the Park, walking straight up to your van or bike to grunt a hello.(Hint: you may want to be carrying a granola bar or two on you!)
4. Wind Cave – Damp, Dark, & Dank: NOT!
The United States’ first cave to be designated as a national park was Wind Cave, established in 1903 by President Theodore Roosevelt. On our tour with our National Park Service guide, you’ll learn the fascinating (and somewhat funny) story of how this cave came to be our nation’s seventh national park. If you’re looking for a creepy damp cave, stalactites hanging from the ceiling, and bats flapping around, this is not the cave for you. Wind Cave is quite the opposite, and you’re guaranteed to see the intricate boxwork formation that this cave is known for, up close!
5. Mount Rushmore/Crazy Horse Memorial – A Must See
Last, but certainly not least, you need to make the trek up to South Dakota to witness the majesty of what the locals call “The Heads” (more commonly known as Mount Rushmore). Sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln, this memorial is a must-see for every person, not only as a tribute to our American presidents but as a magnificent work of art on a large scale. Equally as awe-inspiring (but not as well known) is the nearby Crazy Horse Memorial, a commemoration to the famous Native American leader and a response to Mount Rushmore. Discover both on our South Dakota Adventure Vacation Packages!
See you on the trails,