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Jul 09

Sylvan Lake Shore Trail: Custer State Park

Sylvan Lake Shore TrailSylvan Lake Shore Trail is located along the banks of the “Crown Jewel” of Custer State Park in the Black Hills area of South Dakota.  Even if you are not much of a hiking enthusiast and more of road warrior this hike can be for you due to its nature.  The Sylvan Lake Shore Trail is very flat except for one little rocky section which takes you up and over some large granite boulders and comes in at just a mile, it seems even shorter than that due to the spectacular scenery.Sylvan LakeKaren and I have done this hike both times that we have been in Custer State Park which is saying something because usually we are always looking for new places to explore, but since Karen and I liked it so much we made sure we made time for this short hike.  Eventually, Karen and I would like to have the time to spend more than a couple of days in the area instead we have only used it as a good resting stop on our way to Yellowstone.South Dakota LakeBesides the Sylvan Lake Shore Trail the lake offers a variety of other activities from canoe and kayak rentals, swimming (thought it always looks cold), rock climbing, and trailheads to other hikes like Harney Peak the highest point in South Dakota .Through the RocksKaren and I started the hike after having lunch at one of the picnic tables overlooking the lake, but the trail may be started at various points along the lakeshore.  The trail is on a well maintained dirt path that loops around the lake.  When you get to the granite wall on the far side of the lake you will have to go down a short series of steps through the rock.  The dirt trail picks back up on the other side of the steps.  At this point there is a side trail called the Sunday Gulch Trail that you can take.  Karen and I did not have the time to take this one, but it is definitely on our list for next time so we continue on our way.  The Sylvan Lake Shore Trail then goes towards a series of boulders which makes for some good rock scrambling to some scenic areas overlooking the lake.  Eventually we ended back at the picnic table we started at.Looking  down on Sylvan LakeKaren and I highly recommend going to Sylvan Lake and the lakeshore trail is a wonderful opportunity to get out and stretch your legs and see some of the wonderful scenery the Black Hills of South Dakota have to offer.

To see other hikes that Karen and I have done click here

Sylvan Lake Shore Trail
1 mile
Easy Level Hike
30 minutes
For more information on Custer State Park go their website at http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/custer/

 

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