Local Recreation for Custer SD
The Custer area boasts 6 lakes: Sheridan, Stockade, Sylvan, Bismarck, Center, and Legion. Each lake has its own personality, but all are beautiful and great for picnics, hiking, and swimming. Sylvan Lake was recently featured in the movie National Treasure:Book of Secrets.
Custer's Rocky Knolls 9-hole course is nestled in the picturesque hills west of town. It is common to see bald eagles, deer, elk, marmots, etc. while golfing. Rocky Knolls also offers a bar and outdoor seating for its cafe.
Rapid City offers 3 18-hole golf courses (about a 45 minute drive): Red Rocks, Hart Ranch, and Meadow Brook--a championship course rated in the top 100 public courses in the USA.
Hot Springs' Southern Hills course was voted the #1 9-hole public course in the USA before it changed to an 18-hole course in 2006.
Our area has 14 mountain lakes and hundreds of streams brimming with brown, brook and rainbow trout. Most waters are regularly stocked, but quality habitat has also allowed wild trout to thrive. Anglers will also find numerous stock dams, brimming with largemouth bass, northern pike and a variety of panfish.
You’ll find a variety of trails in the Custer area that offer easy to strenuous climbs. There are two trailheads in town—the Skywalk Trail leads you to the top of the Custer sign and the other takes you to the 109-mile Mickelson Trail.
Some of the best trails in all the Black Hills are in Custer State Park--hike along mountain lakes, through rolling prairies and up forested mountain peaks. Visit the Custer State Park website. Located near Sylvan Lake- recently featured in Disney’s “National Treasure: Book of Secrets—you’ll find one of the trailheads leading to the summit of Harney Peak. Harney Peak,is the highest point in South Dakota. .
The Black Hills contain more than 600 quality rock climbs. The Needles, near Custer, are considered to be some of the best granite face climbs in the country. You will find multiple pitch aid routes, hard sport routes, free traditional crack climbs and excellent bouldering.
The pinnacles and spires of the Needles are a hard-core rock climbers dream. Challenge yourself on the Cathedral Spires, Tin Pins and the Needles Eye. Rock climbing is also popular around the Mount Rushmore area. Take on climbs called Emancipation Rock Formation, Chopping Block and Monster to get a one-of-a-kind view of the monument.
Old logging trails, county roads, and over 6,000 miles of Forest Service land are open to cyclists. The wide shoulders and scenic views of state highways are popular with road and tour bikers. Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road and Mount Rushmore Road are among the favorite destinations for bike touring.
One of the most popular biking trails in our area is the 109-mile George S. Mickelson Trail. You'lll find yourself surrounded by raw, natural beauty as you cruise along gently rolling slopes and across old converted railroad bridges. The Mickelson Trail Trek, held the third weekend in September, is a favorite event of bicycle enthusiasts from all over the country. This three-day event typically draws about 600 riders from 30 different states.
The 111-mile South Dakota Centennial Trail is another option for bikers. This moderate trail, open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders, starts at Bear Butte State Park in the north and ends near Custer at Wind Cave National Park.
The Black Hills, which reach elevations over 7,000 feet, provide some of the best big game hunting in the state. West River deer, antelope and elk hunting are popular because the terrain varies from rolling hills and prairies to high mountains covered with ponderosa pine, white spruce, aspen and burr oak.
Small game, pheasant and waterfowl are hunted in the Black Hills. And, especially in the Custer area, we have world-class turkey hunting. Turkeys may be hunted during both the fall and spring season.
The beautiful scenic Black Hills are ideal for horseback riding. There are endless trails and open spaces to enjoy our scenery. The Custer area has several stables and outfitters for horseback riding. Also, the Black Hills Forest has 2 horse camps for riding on the many horse trails throughout the forest and Custer State Park provides stables for your use.