Toadstool hike planned to celebrate National Public Lands Day

Release Date: Sep 17, 2018  

Contact(s): Cyd Janssen, 308-432-0300

Great Plains Trail signage

Crawford, Ne., September 17, 2018 –  Staff from the Pine Ridge Ranger District and the Oglala National Grassland, together with the Great Plains Trail Alliance are hosting a casual hike of the new trail section at Toadstool Geologic Park to celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 22. Hikers are invited to meet at 9:00 A.M at Toadstool Campground, approximately 19 miles north of Crawford on Toadstool Road, where the approximate five mile loop will begin and end.

Tim Buskirk, Pine Ridge District Ranger said, “The hike is a ‘grand opening’ of sort to introduce participants to a new trail segment at Toadstool Geologic Park. We are excited to open this new hiking option on the Oglala National Grasslands, as well as add trails for our partner, the Great Plains Trail Alliance.”

Participants will hike the new trail segment, then connect to the Bison Trail to complete the loop. The hike is rated moderate to strenuous, depending on each individual’s endurance and fitness.

“If someone would like a shorter hike, they may simply turn back and hike out. Also we’d like to encourage non-hikers to join us at the campground following the hike to picnic, visit and relax in the shade,” said Buskirk. The event is free, just bring a sack lunch, plenty of water, sunscreen and wear appropriate outerwear and sturdy shoes.

The Great Plains Trail Alliance was formed in 2012 by Steve Myers who will be participating on Saturday. Meyers said, “The ultimate goal for the Great Plains Trail is to establish, develop, maintain, preserve and promote a long distance, public, non-motorized trail running north and south through the short grass prairies of the Great Plains of North America, resulting in a trail that runs from Canada’s Grassland National Park on the U.S./ Canada border to the summit of Guadalupe Peak in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. Simply put, the Great Plains area is a national treasure.  It is a region of unique scenic beauty, ecological diversity, amazing wildlife, and rich human history.  It has also been and continues to be a landscape of deep inspiration.”