Recreation

Rock Climbing

Access for the Ages

With several national icons nestled among the pines of the Black Hills National Forest, this Island in the Plains serves as the backdrop for these symbols of America. Specialized campgrounds, roaded recreation opportunities and a system of trails connecting communities, showcase this Forest that provides user friendly access to year round family activities. Together the attractive features of the Black Hills National Forest, Custer State Park, and area National Parks, Memorials, and Monuments are the foundation for the local recreation economies.

Amid the splendid scenery of the Black Hills National Forest are 11 reservoirs, 30 campgrounds, 26 picnic areas, 2 scenic byways, 1,300 miles of streams, 13,000 acres of wilderness, 353 miles of trails, and much more.

Use the sidebar menu on the left or right: find an area/find an activity to learn about all the different ways you can enjoy the outdoors in the Black Hills National Forest.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

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Spotlights

Crow Peak Trail (Trail #64)

A 3.2 mile trail to Crow Peak Summit, with a 0.5 mile spur trail to Beaver Ridge.

Crow Peak is a dominant landmark because of its geological makeup. Billions of years ago, this area was covered by an ocean. Layers of sediment were deposited on the ocean floor, eventually hardening to form limestone and other sedimentary rock layers.

Underground molten rock called magma pushed the sedimentary layers upward forming hills. During the uplifting, crevasses within the limestone hills filled with magma. These flows of magma, called intrusions, cooled to form igneous rock.

The limestone and other sedimentary rock erodes at a faster rate than the harder igneous rock. As the oceans receded, the overlying sedimentary rock eroded, exposing the igneous intrusions. Crow Peak and other peaks you can see from Crow Peak summit, such as Bear Butte, Spearfish Mountain, and Terry Peak, were formed in this manner. Erosion of the igneous rock and the sedimentary rock surrounding these peaks continues to shape the landscape of the Northern Black Hills.

Breezy Point

Hear the winds through the pines while getting excellent views of neighboring granite spires and mountains from a scenic overlook point access by a short cement sidewalk from the nearby 5 site picnic area, parking lot and accessible bathroom.

Spring Creek Picnic Area

The Spring Creek Picnic Area has eight picnic sites. Restroom facilities are available.  The picnic area is located adjacent to Spring Creek, in an open forest/woodland of ponderosa pine, oak, willow and cottonwood.

Deerfield Reservoir Complex

Deerfield Reservoir is located 20 miles west of Hill City, SD. The Bureau of Reclamation manages the dam and water. Castle Creek flows into and out of the reservoir and provides additional fishing opportunities. Ice fishing, snowmobiling and ice skating are popular winter sports here. The complex has three campgrounds, two boat launches, two picnic areas and the Deerfield Lake Loop Trail (Trail #40L). Travel on the reservoir is limited to five miles per hour and there is a no-wake restriction which provides for peaceful fishing and boating experiences.

Reservoir water levels and boat ramp data can be found on the Bureau of Reclamation website for Pactola and Deerfield Reservoirs:  http://www.usbr.gov/gp/boat/