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CSP Hiking Trails

Peoria, Illinois
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CSP Hiking Trails

We will have three full days to spend in CSP (staying at Blue Bell), and we aim to do a lot of hiking. At least one half day will be dedicated to hiking in Wind Cave, and we also plan to see Mt. Rushmore. Devils Tower/Spearfish Canyon will have a separate day outside of these three.

We typically like moderate hikes of no longer than about 4 miles per hike. We are fine with doing an out and back of a longer trail but only going partway as long as the first couple miles are fairly scenic. One thing I can't handle is any sheer drop offs, as I am not a fan of heights and get vertigo on drop-offs. I don't mind being up high, as long as the edge of the trail is not a straight drop (like Angels Landing in Zion is).

I think hiking to Harney Peak (I think it's called something else now?) is out of our wheelhouse.

Do you have any other suggested trails that fit my description? I would love a variety of scenery and also some trails that get us up somewhat high to get a nice view.

I have read about Sunday Gulch Trail but worry how difficult the rock scrambling is. I know there are handrails--is it fairly doable? I also looked at Lovers Leap Trail because it looks like it has nice views. Is it pretty strenuous though? Are there any sheer drop offs?

I am not opposed to shorter, flat, easy hikes, too, but would like at least one trail that's longer than a couple miles and has us climb a bit.

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Arlington, Virginia
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1. Re: CSP Hiking Trails

Our last trip to the Black Hills was a hiking-centric one. We got brochures with good trail descriptions and good advice from the NPS rangers at Mount Rushmore and from the CSP rangers at the Peter Norbeck Visitor Center.

Another source for hikes of 5 km are year-round volksmarches. You can do these walks at any time during the designated dates and they cost nothing to do. We did one of these a couple years ago in/around Custer State Park which we enjoyed very much. (We also did the historical one in Hot Springs, but I think you are looking for scenery, not history.) Below is a link to the year-round events in South Dakota of the American Volksport Association. You can use the contact information to find out more about specific trails that might interest you.

ava.org/gen3/…

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