SPEARFISH, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Several fat bike trails are open for use in the Northern Hills Ranger District.
“Fat biking is an emerging recreation activity that is becoming more popular in the Black Hills,” said Steve Kozel, Northern Hills District Ranger. “We have worked closely with volunteer groups in identifying new trail opportunities and I greatly appreciate their effort in getting these trails ready for public use.”
Fat bikes have over-sized tires and low ground pressure that allows the user to ride off-road surfaces such as snow.
Fat bike routes have been authorized with Forest Service special use permits. Volunteers will be grooming, signing and maintaining several of the snow trails through March 31, 2018.
“Maintenance and grooming will vary depending on the conditions and availability of volunteers,” said Bonnie Jones, Recreation Specialist, Northern Hills Ranger District.
- Mount Roosevelt trail: Located north of Deadwood, SD and starts on Forest Service Road (FSR) 133. Northern Hills Recreation Association is grooming the road from Moon Mountain Lane up to and around Mount Roosevelt Friendship Tower.
- SnowDog trail: Located about 1 mile south of Spearfish off of Tinton Road (FSR 134), the approximately 3-mile Snowdog trail can be accessed from the upper Tinton trailhead and Spearfish Quarry ATV trails.
- Iron Creek/Red Lake trail: Black Hills Nordic Ski Association is grooming and maintaining this series of trails located in Spearfish Canyon, approximately ½ mile south of Long Valley Picnic Area. The trail follows Iron Creek and meanders through walls of limestone. The trail also traverses into the Red Lake ATV area and depending on conditions, potentially to the Old Baldy Trail.
- Big Hill/Higgins Gulch: Also groomed by Black Hills Nordic Ski Association, this trail starts at either the Big Hill trailhead or Crow Peak trail parking lot. To get to Big Hill from Spearfish, travel south on FSR 134 approximately eight miles to the trailhead which is on the west side of the road. To access the Crow Peak trail parking lot, travel from Spearfish southwest on FSR 214, approximately 7 miles to the parking area, which is on the west side of the road. NOTE: Although the trailhead starts at the Big Hill trailhead, it is not part of this ski trail system. Officials ask that users do not ride their bikes on the ski trails.
- Lower Deadman trail: Black Hills Trails grooms this trail that begins on the south side of Sturgis, SD off of Pine View St. This approximately 4 mile trail goes out and back to Vanocker Canyon.
For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.