map-state-sd

Off-Road Trails: South Dakota

Thousands of miles of off-road trails are ready to be explored

Photo credit: Nagel Photography/Shutterstock.com
go back

Riding in the hills of South Dakota is always an adventure and starting outside of the Rapid City area and heading towards Sioux Falls you can find many locations for riding all different types of motorized vehicles. There are 21 OHV trailheads in the national forest alone. According to the USDA website, there are over 3,600 miles of incredible trails with over 700 miles being open to motorized travel in the Black Hills National Forest. From the wilderness of the Black Hills National Forest to the public OHV destinations such as Oahe Downstream OHV, there are plenty of fun and challenging locations to explore.

Trails and terrain will include many rocky outcroppings with technical climbs as well as old flat road beds with hard pack gravel for the less experienced. The old logging roads and woodland trails bring out the inner explorer in many children as well as adults. Keeping an eye on the weather is also always a wise thing, as it can change quickly when you are having fun. This will turn the dust to mush and mudholes can fill up rapidly, making trails slick for the unsuspecting driver.

Finding a place to stay with the family is easy as there are many small family-owned bed and breakfast facilities along the way and modern hotels as well. With all of the modern conveniences of home wrapped in a package for off-roaders South Dakota is always on the top of the list when it comes to finding adventure in the outdoors. Be sure to bring along extra fuel to the trailhead and be aware of your machine’s fuel mileage. Getting stuck out here is not the end of the world, but it can make an otherwise great ride into a longer than anticipated walk back to the truck.

Destination Yamaha

If you are looking for an off-road adventure in South Dakota but you don’t feel like towing an ATV or UTV all the way there, Destination Yamaha has a pair of locations in the state where you can rent a machine.

These rental partners have everything you need for an amazing off-road experience aboard a Yamaha ATV or UTV on some of the best terrain in the state.

We had an opportunity to explore some great trails in South Dakota with Mystic Trails Rentals in Deadwood. You can read all about that adventure here.

 

Distance 25+ Miles

Skill Level All

Location Fort Pierre, SD

Oahe Downstream OHV

Distance 25+ Miles

Skill Level All

Location Fort Pierre, SD

Located just across the 1806 highway from the Missouri River, the Oahe Downstream OHV gives the off-roader a place to stretch their legs so to speak. This 400-acre lot of mostly dirt trails includes some mild hill climbs as well as plenty of parking. Although there are no designated or marked trails on the property, the boundaries are clearly marked to keep riders from venturing onto private property surrounding the ride location. There is no fee to ride this location. If you wish to stay a few days, there is no overnight parking but the Oahe Downstream Campground is available for those who just cannot get enough of the area. Just picture a great day on the trails and a quiet evening on the banks of the Missouri river watching the Bald Eagles land in the tops of the cottonwood trees there.

ATV Trails South Dakota

Distance 41 Miles

Skill Level All

Location Riley Trailhead, SD

Merritt Trail System

Distance 41 Miles

Skill Level All

Location Riley Trailhead, SD

Utilizing almost 41 miles of trail the Merritt trail system in the Black Hills National Forest gives enthusiasts plenty of recreation opportunities. This trail system connects the Minnesota Ridge trail system to the central trails. Although some trails here have been known to be more challenging, there are plenty of easy to moderate trails for all riders and capabilities. If you wish to bring along the family, which is encouraged, you can slip down to the Pactola visitor center and camping there can be arranged. Fill the days with off-roading and the evenings with some fishing or just a simple campfire to while away the hours.

Distance 50 Miles

Skill Level All

Location Farmingdale, SD

Railroad Buttes

Distance 50 Miles

Skill Level All

Location Farmingdale, SD

Located just off of Farmingdale Folsom road, the Railroad Buttes OHV riding area is a vast open landscape with trails both on the left and right side of the roadway. Most of the trail area is hard pack and mostly smooth riding ,but there are some rugged hills to climb if you want to test yourself. If you plan to bring all of the family, then the staging area is capable of handling large RV parking as well as primitive campers. Be sure to check the roll out canopy on your RV as this will be the only shade you will find here.

Click to Find Your Perfect Trail Machine