Black Hills Trails founding members have a long established history of trail stewardship in the Sturgis area. The city of Sturgis is surrounded by a “ring of fire” comprised of land managed by numerous federal and state agencies that has to some extent stymied the growth of the city. While Sturgis may not be poised to become a future manufacturing or technology hub it is well positioned to become a premiere future destination for outdoor recreation.
In June 2013 the Sturgis City Council awarded Black Hills Trails permission to begin construction on a new recreational trail to connect Lions Club Park to existing user established trails on nearby property managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Black Hills Trails is continuing to deepen relationships with the Bureau of Land Management, United States Forest Service, South Dakota Department of Game Fish & Parks, the City of Sturgis and other area land managers in order to improve existing trails and trail access as well as create new sustainable trails in the greater Sturgis area.
- Black Hills Area Community Foundation Grant Oct 8, 2018 - Black Hills Trails is pleased to announce it has received a $3,000 grant from the Black Hills Area Community Foundation. These funds will support over-snow Trail Grooming for Fat Biking on the Black Hills National Forest and throughout the northern Black Hills. Mountain Biking in the Black Hills area is as popular as ever, and with the advent of fat biking, this popularity has blossomed into Winter over-snow riding. Over-snow riding has the same need for well constructed and maintained trails as during fair weather months. The most efficient way to create and groom these trails is using machines which groom (compact) the snow similar to a cross-country ski trail. Recent work with the Black Hills National Forest has allowed the use of snow grooming machines on designated trails. This network of trails is widespread enough that several machines are needed to accommodate the demand. In an effort to continue fulfilling Black Hills Trails’ mission of connecting communities, even over-snow, Black Hills Trails will utilize this grant funding, in addition to other sources, to purchase more over-snow grooming machines. These machines will power the volunteer trail grooming effort. “Focusing effort on a single user-group, such as fat bikers, isn’t normally what Black Hills Trails would try to do. But the opportunity to help create a whole new type of sustainable trail use was too good to pass up. The machines the Quality of Life funding will help purchase will extend trail use for bikes into all four seasons. We are extremely pleased […]
- 2017 Report, Relationships: USFS, SDGFP, Project Status Dec 11, 2017 - Relationships Black Hills Trails doesn’t exist just to build and maintain trails, but to connect communities with each other. Connecting communities means connecting people, and forming long-lasting relationships. Our efforts were rewarded this year with the deepening and creation of two significant relationships, one with the Black Hills National Forest and the other with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. These two organizations manage the majority of recreational trails in the Black Hills area. Relationships: Black Hills National Forest Forest-Wide Volunteer Agreement Black Hills Trails has entered a Forest-wide partnership with the Black Hills National Forest. This partnership doesn’t simply replace standing agreements, it expands and enhances the existing relationship between Black Hills Trails and the Black Hills National Forest. Similar to an agreement held by Black Hills Trails partner organization, Black Hills Back-Country Horsemen, the new agreement provides a framework for meeting each year with Forest Leadership to discuss and make plans for Forest-wide recreation priorities, including maintenance and development. The plans made under this new agreement will help Black Hills Trails and the Black Hills National Forest help each other to better meet the recreation needs of local communities than at any time in the past. Relationships: South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Bear Butte Trail Maintenance Black Hills Trails and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks began forging a relationship in 2017 that is already bearing fruit for the Black Hills community. The initial project undertaken as part of this coordinated trail and recreation effort was maintenance […]
- We need your help connecting communities Dec 8, 2015 - Black Hills Trails is working hard to connect communities in the Northern Black Hills. A major step in this vision is right around the corner and we need your help to make it happen. In addition to the many miles of trail we help maintain, Black Hills Trails and our volunteers have built about two miles of new trail each year, for the past three years. The progress has been slow and steady, but thanks to our resolve and the continual willingness of dedicated volunteers to show up and move dirt, the opportunity to do much more is at hand. Black Hills Trails has recently entered into an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management to build the 7th Cavalry Trail System on the Fort Meade Recreation Area east of Sturgis. Progress on this is already underway, but there are more than twenty miles of new trail to build in the near future. The City of Sturgis has recently approved the development of new trails into the City Dams, or Davenport Dams, that will be integral to a much larger Deadman Mountain Trail Project that Black Hills Trails is working in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to achieve. A conservative estimate puts the costs associated with finishing these projects over the next several years at more than $75,000. These costs include an expansion of the supplies and equipment available to our volunteers, contract construction services for the work we will be unable to complete ourselves, and the materials necessary to add proper […]
- Sturgis Watershed & City Dams Access Oct 14, 2015 - Your rights to access public lands are at stake, we need your help! Background – In the 1970’s the City of Sturgis purchased the domestic water distribution and storage infrastructure from the Jarvis Davenport heirs that was originally built in the early 1900’s. Due to EPA regulations the above ground water storage system AKA “City Dams” was abandoned as a source of drinking water for the City of Sturgis. For the last 30 years the only persons utilizing the City Dam property have been recreational in nature through executive privilege or outright trespass. No public access to this public land has been allowed. The 501(c)(3) not for profit Black Hills Trails has proposed including the City Dam property in a stacked loop multiple option non-motorized trail system that is directly accessible from several trailheads within the Sturgis City limits and several trailheads located on BLM and US Forest Service property. This system would encompass the Fort Meade Recreation Area managed by the BLM, City of Sturgis property adjacent to the Bear Butte Cemetery, the Barry Stadium, and the City Dams, along with USFS property on Deadman Mountain, and along Alkali Creek. When completed, recreational users will have access to loops of length from only a couple miles to 50 miles, or more, all starting and finishing in the city limits of Sturgis. Additionally, new water born recreation never before open to the public will be made available in addition to many possible historic interpretative possibilities. Progress to date includes: New trail from the Lions Club […]
- Sturgis Trail Project Reaches Significant Milestone Oct 6, 2015 - For Immediate Release October 6, 2015 Sturgis Trail Project Reaches Significant Milestone Funding secured for three mile accessible trail loop around Fort Meade (Sturgis, SD) – The City of Sturgis has secured $250,000 in funding through the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) to construct a three mile trail around the Fort Meade Veterans Administration Hospital (VA). The trail will be handicapped accessible and will tie into key existing facilities and points of interest. The new trail will enrich the experience of hospital guests and create a new recreation opportunity for VA staff and area residents by connecting the Fort Meade Trailhead including the Fort Meade Recreation Area Trail System and Centennial Trail. The new trail will also link the Sturgis Bike Path, Barry Stadium, and Fort Meade Museum. The Bureau of Land Management, VA, the City of Sturgis, Sturgis Parks Department, and area non-profit Black Hills Trails have been collaborating on the development of an extensive stacked loop recreational trail system in and around the City of Sturgis since 2013. This new accessible loop trail is a significant milestone in that collaboration. Future goals of this group initiative include connecting these trails with proposed trail systems on Deadman Mountain and in the Sturgis Watershed, and ultimately to connect area communities. To get involved please subscribe to […]