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Hiking and Biking

Whether you enjoy a challenging hike across rugged terrain or a leisurely stroll through a city park, you’ll find the perfect path in Pierre.

Hiking through the Fort Pierre National Grassland is like stepping back in time. The grassland is 116,000 acres of rugged, unspoiled terrain, offering seasoned hikers and cyclists a look at the South Dakota prairie as it was hundreds of years ago.

There are no developed campgrounds, but camping is permitted throughout the area; the reservoirs and ponds dotting the prairie are popular spots.

More information about the grassland may be found at http://www.sdgrass.org/



The parks and woods around Lake Oahe and Lake Sharpe feature both easy and challenging paths with excellent birding and nature-watching opportunities. Oahe Downstream’s Cottonwood Path, a National Recreation Trail, is popular with hikers, cyclists and birders. Open year-round, the seven miles of hiking, biking and walking trails at LaFramboise Island wind through woods and meadows inhabited by diverse wildlife. Farm Island Recreation Area features a three-mile Island Nature Trail.



Information about all three state parks is at www.sdgfp.info.

The Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Trail runs from Farm Island south of town to Oahe Downstream Recreation Area. At 26 miles, it’s an easy to moderate bike trip, with interesting sites and stops along its route. Find information on the Lewis and Clark Trail in brochures distributed by the Pierre Convention and Tourism Bureau, or at numerous Web sites, including www.nps.gov/lecl and www.lewisandclarktrail.com.



Within the city of Pierre, bike trails and walking paths connect historical sites and recreation areas. Hiking paths through Pierre’s Native Plant Arboretum, located off the Farm Island Nature Trail, can provide excellent views of deer, wild turkey, mourning doves, bald eagles, songbirds and pheasant. The Nature Trail ends near the Riverwalk/Bicycle Path, which runs about 14 miles along the Missouri River shoreline. The Capitol Creek Walk connects the Capitol grounds to the Riverwalk. The Governor’s Walk winds just over a mile through Hilger’s Gulch Park.

Click on the link to the city map to see the location of these walks and paths. Contact the Pierre Convention and Tourism Bureau at 800-962-2034 for more information.

Volksmarches, a noncompetitive walking event that originated in Germany, offer another way to explore Pierre. The Pierre Capitol Walk Volksmarch, held every year, winds along the river through scenic areas that include several of the city’s parks. Also held yearly, the Pierre Lewis and Clark Volksmarch follows a 10 kilometer (roughly 6 mile) trail around LaFramboise Island.