Sturgis Trail Naming Contest Results

Earlier this year Black Hills Trails teamed up with the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau on a contest to name some of the recently completed trails making up the Sturgis Trail System. After careful consideration by the naming committee, the winners have been chosen!

Trails #1 – #4 in the contest all access the Sturgis Reservoirs, the historic water supply for the City of Sturgis located south of town.

Trails #5 and #6 are located at the northeast corner of Sturgis near Fort Meade, the historic Cavalry Fort.

Trail #1:
Previously known as “Unnamed #1”, is now called “Salt Giant“. The original submission was “Salty Giant Trail” by Alex Calderwood. It was so named because of a rock feature along the trail collectively referred to by locals as the Rock Giant, and because it follows the Alkali Creek drainage. Alkali is another word for salt.

Trail #2
Previously known as “Unnamed #2”, is now called “Sacred View“. The name was submitted by Holly Kopplin, who commented “Breathtaking views of Bear Butte and prairie beyond. This trail cleanses your soul.”

View of the “Rock Giant” and Bear Butte from Sacred View

Trail #3
Previously known as “Unnamed #3”, is now called “Bulldog Rim“. Similar names were submitted by both Alex Calderwood and Kevin Abeln, but Bulldog Rim was ultimately selected by the committee to avoid confusion with existing named features.

View from the top of Bulldog Rim near where it intersects the Centennial Trail

Trail #4
Previously known as “Unnamed #4”, is now called “Pasque“. The orignal submission was “Pasque Pass” submitted by Eric Johnson. This trail climbs a ridge which, when in season, is a prolific area to view hundreds of specimens of the state flower.

Trail #5
Previously known as “Main” or “Sturgis” or “Lions”, depending on who you asked, is now officially named “Star Spangled” after the history of Fort Meade, where our national anthem originated. Originally submitted as “The Star Spangled Byway” by Alex Calderwood.

Trail #6
Previously known as the “Youth Race Trail” now called “Trooper’s Loop” based on a submission by Holly Kopplin. This trail was constructed to support the Black Hills Mountain Bike Association (BHMBA) Youth Race Series and has been used for several youth races. By design, it is quite beginner-friendly for cyclists but has just enough features and flow to make it interesting and fun even for experienced cyclists.

Area youth charge away from the starting line of a BHMBA youth event in Sturgis.

Additional trails were named by the committee, including Veteran, formerly known as the Horse Trail, Alkali Ridge formerly called Rattlesnake Ridge, and both Skyline and Butte View, the two former Forest/logging road segments of trail on Deadman Mountain. All of these trail names have been updated on TrailForks and

All of these winners will have an official trail marker placed in their name after the first print run of the new retro-reflective markers occurs. The committee also decided to place a marker for Camden Fitzpatrick, a local elementary student, for the incredible enthusiasm he showed for the Trail System as part of the naming contest.

Thanks to everyone who participated and submitted names, the selection process was very challenging for the committee!

It’s not too late to put your own name on the Sturgis Trail System as well, doing so supports the volunteers who actively maintain the trails. A marker can be placed in your name for $200. These contributions are placed in an endowed fund, from which each $1 put in can maintain 1 foot of the trail system forever. This isn’t possible without your generous contributions and area volunteers who are so generous with their time.

Read more about the Black Hills Trail Fund.

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