Stay & Ride: Exploring the Mickelson Trail

If you like biking, the Mickelson Trail is one of the best ways to explore the Black Hills. Built along abandoned rail beds, it's 114 miles of easy-grade trail bisecting the Black Hills. Along the way, riders can see railroad trestles, hard rock tunnels, abandoned rail infrastructure, and some really stunning scenery. 

We've hosted a few groups of Mickelson Trail riders at the 1899 Inn over the years. Many of those guests start their ride further south (the southern trailhead is in Edgemont, but Hot Springs and Hill City are other popular spots to access the trail), then ride north into Deadwood, where the trail terminates. In fact, you can see the northern trailhead through the trees from our front porch: it's located about 500 feet (150 meters) from the Inn. After riding into town, guests ride right up the street, park their bikes on the side patio, get checked in, hit the showers, and walk over to Main Street for a night on the town. September and October are maybe the most popular times to ride the Big Mick: daytime temperatures are cooler in the fall, and the weather is typically pretty dry that time of the year. 

There are a few companies that provide shuttle services if you're looking to take a multi-day ride and need a way to get back to your starting point. Talk to the people at Black Hills Discovery Tours, Rabbit Bicycles, and Mickelson Trail Adventures if you're looking for a little help putting a plan together. We're also happy to help with scheduling and recommendations: just drop us a line or give us a call at 864-210-1899.

If the whole 114 miles sounds a little intimidating, don't worry: you can always ride up the trail from Deadwood as far as you'd like, then turn around and come back. There are a number of pleasant stops just a few miles from the 1899 Inn (including Chubby Chipmunk Chocolates, vintage Homestake mining buildings, and some picnic spots along Whitewood Creek), and we've got two bikes that are available for guests at no extra charge on a first-come, first-serve basis. Just make a note when you send in your reservation request and we'll set you up!