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Explore the best rated trails in Brookings, SD. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Watertown Recreation Trail - Orange Loop and Casey Jones State Trail. With more than 8 trails covering 97 miles you're bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.
I basically live on this trail.
I have the main 19+ mile loop essentially memorized at this stage.
I don't actually know this to be one of the absolute, ten best-overall urban trails in the Midwest...but I'd be shocked to learn it somehow was not.
I sometimes enjoy going up the hill, just north of Falls Park, but usually I do what most others are likely going to prefer as well ie. circumnavigating the loop in a clockwise direction.
Be careful when passing underneath the pedestrian bridge at Yankton Trail Park. Visibility at that spot is very poor; slow down!
This trail is AMAZING!
It's kinda short, and just far enough away to be a little inconvenient, so I took a long time to get out here...and I feel like a fool.
This is an EXCEPTIONALLY beautiful trail. Ordinarily, you'd have to go to a state park to see something this wondrous, and the fact this is an urban trail, kinda just blows me away. The part of Dell Rapids that one can see from the riverside trail, is more-or-less the cosmic epitome of what a picturesque Midwestern small town ought to look like.
If I lived in Dell Rapids, I'd be on this trail like every day.
Some of the complaints about this trail are not entirely invalid...and it should also be noted that not everything needs to be perfect, in order to be worthwhile. Yes, I wish the ashpalt were in somewhat better condition (and I wish it ran all the way to Woodstock.) But the ride is still enjoyable, and worth making. The Casey Jones Trail is the only place on Earth (other than a zoo) where I have seen a soft-shelled turtle.
Google Maps seems to indicate that the ashphalt only runs about halfway to Woodstock, but in my experience, it's a lot more like 3/4ths of the way.
According to the 2020 census, Woodstock only has a population of 110...so you wouldn't really expect there to be cool place like Staci's Bar & Grill, where one can obtain sandwiches & beer. But fortunately, you'd be wrong.
This is a very pleasant trail, that affords one some fairly spectacular views of Lake Madison.
Two points of which to be aware: The situation where one must cross South Dakota Highwy 34, in orer to proceed from the pulic parking at 8th & Egan, leaves a lot to be desired. I might be inlined to recommend parking on Washington Avenue South, which is to say, on the southen side of highway 34. You lose almost none of the trail this way, and you avoid the stress of crossing the highway.
Additionally, the map is incomplete ie. the leg of the trail that follows alongside highway 19, actually turns east, and goes at least a mile or more farther than what is indicated here.
We'd read about the Sioux Falls Loop and decided to begin at the southernmost point and ride counterclockwise around the city. We started at Yankton Trail Park, heading east through beautiful parkland for a few miles before turning north at Tuthill Park. Here the trail follows the Big Sioux River, winding along its manicured and tree-lined banks, beside pretty picnic areas and soccer fields that no doubt come alive on the weekends. But it was lovely and quiet during this weekday afternoon; we passed few other bikers on the trail. Comparing the loop to a clock face, we started at 6 o'clock, then at roughly 3 o'clock, we came upon the falls for which the city is named. The falls are more like a scenic series of rocky cascades bordered by grassy parklands and the brick ruins of a former mill. It was very dramatic and beautiful. Immediately north of Falls Park, outside of the loop, is the Smithfield Foods, Inc., a large pork processing plant. Even from a distance of half a mile, the smell was offensive, and we tried to ride past as quickly as possible. We headed uphill (the only hill on the loop) through a small set of switchbacks until the trail flattened again atop a levy that divided the river from lumberyards and light industrial areas on the outside of the loop. At this point, the Big Sioux River looks pretty much like a wide, stagnant, tree-less canal. Plus, the trail circumvents the Sioux Falls Regional Airport from 2 o'clock to 10 o'clock, the whole north end and about a third of the entire loop. When we finally arrived at the small bridge that crossed over to the parking lot where we'd started, we realized that we'd unknowingly started at the exact spot where the trail became bucolic to the east and barren to the west. In hindsight, had we started in the other direction and headed up the west side of the loop, we would have sped downhill past Smithfield and had the lovely, shaded park area to pedal through for the second half of our ride. There's a really great local brewery a short drive from the Yankton Trail Park.
In late September of '21, my wife and I experienced the joy of this awesome, five-star urban trail on a weekday morning. Even though it's completely within the Sioux Falls city limits, you'd hardly know it except for the occasional sounds from distant autos, the even more occasional sounds from the airport flight path, and the beautiful buildings you glimpse as you pass through an exceptionally quiet downtown. For the most part you're enveloped within the serenity of trees, parks and greenways, surrounded by wide open spaces and golf courses, or hearing the thunderous noise of the falls at Falls Park.
Even though it's called Sioux Fall Bike Trails, we stuck to one trail: the twenty mile loop that follows the two forks of the Big Sioux River and essentially encircles much of the city. We started our ride at Farm Field Park, a popular starting point for the many walkers and joggers utilizing the trails, and proceeded in a counterclockwise direction. Thank goodness for my investment in the Rails To Trails Link app! There were a couple of instances where we unsure which fork in the trail to take, and the app kept us on the right path!
With the exception of some rough patches of asphalt and two plus miles on a gravel road due to construction on the main loop trail out near the airport, most of the trail was excellent, wide, flat, and provided smooth riding.
WARNING: Besides the temporary construction detour, be aware of the steep climb just beyond the falls up the side of a dam. If not for my sixty-three year old wife's Swytch pedal assist, she would have been walking her bike up that steep grade. To avoid that, consider taking the loop in a clockwise direction.
All in all, the trail lived up to it's five star billing and was worth the 2,000 mile drive from SoCal to check off another state bike ride on our bucket list! We experienced the beautiful falls, sculptures, wildlife, architecture, arriving and departing jets, trestles, bridges, levees, zoo animals, river views, trees, and the super friendly walkers, joggers, and bike riders of Sioux Falls.
( By the way, so many previous reviewers were rough on the part that goes around the airport, but it was especially quiet, peaceful, and serene out there except for the infrequent jet landing or taking off. I enjoyed the views from the levees and solitude away from the town as much as riding within it.)
I did the trail from Pipestone to Woodstock. I attempted to continue to the county line, but the final 2 miles leaving Woodstock isn't maintained. It was knee high weeds. Still, a really fun trail mixed with mostly asphalt, some gravel, and a little grass. My ride was 22 miles round trip.
I was riding a drop bar gravel bike with 40mm slick tires which was perfect for the trail. The first asphalt section is similar to a highway shoulder...mostly smooth with some cracking. The second asphalt section is very smooth. Next is mostly flat gravel which turns into grass through the park in Woodstock.
I enjoyed the trail, and will visit again. A fun ride!
I am from MT and this trail system is fabulous. It is so well laid out. I found it easy for the beginner trail rider that I am. Other users were friendly and were easy to approach with my questions. Let’s all ride to fight Childhood Cancer this month!
We rode this on Saturday September 4th. This is a beautifully maintained trail throughout its circuit. We did run come across a minor detour by the airport, due to construction, but the rest of the trail was wonderful.
We saw lots of people using this trail. It is very welcoming and the people we met along the trail were friendly and informative to this couple from Oklahoma seeking information at the detour.
Sioux Falls should be proud of this trail and we highly recommend it.
This is a great trail for a quiet walk away from traffic noise.
As part of the loop around Lake Kampeska, this trail provides great views of the lake.
We started the ride at the Pipestone Trailhead. There is a small, dirt parking lot with a vault toilet. Immediately, I was not impressed. The asphalt trail surface is in poor condition. Every 20 feet or so were major cracks across the entire width of the trail. Many of these cracks were filled with ankle-high weeds. As if that weren’t bad enough, you had to dodge pothole after pothole along the way. We cycled for about about six miles before deciding we had enough of this poorly maintained trail and turned around. It did appear that if we had continued that the asphalt trail surface in the next section might be better. We were lucky that it was a non-windy day. I honestly cannot recommend cycling this section of the trail. Perhaps if there is another section that is paved, it might be worth starting at a different trailhead than Pipestone.
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