Suggestions near Deadwood
Greetings from Lincoln, NE. My wife and I are traveling to Deadwood the first week of October because she has a meeting, and I want to do some biking. I've read about the Mickelson trail, and we plan to check that out together, but I'm looking for something a bit more adventurous during the day when she's busy. I was planning on bringing my CX bike for the Mickelson trail. I've got a Stumpy FSR that I was going to bring along as well. I'm used to riding singletrack with minimal elevation changes around here, so don't try to kill me, but what are some good trail rides near Deadwood that will challenge me without being dangerous for a mountain trail virgin?
I would recommend a Centennial (Trail 89) ride. I haven't been North of Pilot Knob Trailhead since my kids were born and the last time I was it was demolished by ATV riders. I believe there is now a re-routed section north of Pilot Knob that is motorized vehicle free but I'm not sure.
Originally Posted by Pharmer
But for sure I can recommend Pilot Knob and to go south from there. Pilot Knob TH is close to deadwood and just off of 385 which is easy to access from Deadwood. It's about four miles of nice flowy single trick to where it crosses Silver City Road.
You have a couple of choices once you cross Silver City Road. After maybe a few hundred yards you can take a hard right and get on the Deerfield Trail 40 and ride towards Silver City. It's been eight years since I've done this but I recall one short/steep downhill and then an easy ride to Silver City. Once you get to Silver City and start following Rapid Creek upstream it gets really easy and flat but also really scenic. From the first gated bridge it's about three miles to where Castle Creek dumps into Rapid Creek. In my opinion that's as good as any place to turn around.
I'll have to try to figure out how many total miles this will be. It might be more than I'm thinking but I still think it would be a nice ride. Maybe your wife could pick you up in Silver City?
If you'll be here multiple days and need a recovery ride you could also drive to Silver City one day and ride upstream.
Your other choice after crossing Silver City Road (besides turning around) is to continue on to Pactola on 89. It's a steady downhill to a small cove of Pactola north of the marina. You can turn around there or continue on to the marina and turn around there. Even if you can handle the climb back it wouldn't be the worst hike a bike.
I'll see if I can figure out some mileages for you and past back later on.
Here's my best guess to mileages.
Pilot Knob to Trail 40 to Silver City should be about 7 miles one way. If you road upstream to the Castle Creek junction and back that would add 6 miles. So 20 miles for the out and back, 13 miles if your wife picked you up in Silver City.
As I remember it you'd only have one hard climb if you did this as an out and back. But maybe someone who rides this area can describe the climb back up to 89 better.
I would at least ride upstream to the point it turns back into single track. I only mentioned three miles because that's where I turn around (at the fork of the two creeks). So this ride doesn't need to be 20 miles.
Pilot Knob to that small cove of Pactola I think is 7 miles so 14 miles round trip. Maybe another mile to the marina. I'm not 100% sure on this one. I sometimes park at the Deer Creek Trailhead and hike with my dog down to the lake. I don't bother with my GPS but I don't feel like it's even 3 miles. So from Pilot Knob it should be 7 or less. I hope I'm not way off.
The stretch from Pilot's Knob south to Pactola and back would be a good beginner/intermediate type of ride on the Centennial. Fairly smooth trail and the climbs are not long, sustained climbs.
I did the Tatanka 100 this year and we rode through the area CJH described, dropping into Silver City. If you rode that as an out and back you'd have one heck of a climb out of Silver City. The ride profile pic is from the first half of the race, with Pilot's Knob at the 40'ish mile mark and Silver City at the low point at the 50 mile mark.
Shoot me a PM and maybe we can hook up and I (or one of the others I ride with) can show you some trails.