“This trail has sweeping vistas of the southern North Dakota badlands and the Little Missouri River.”
— Karen Ryberg
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — River/Creek — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
The southern trailhead is located at Burning Coal Vein Campground. The campground can be accessed from US Highway 85 approximately 10 miles south of Belfield, traveling 20 miles on U.S. Forest Service gravel roads #767 and #742. The campground may also be accessed approximately 14 miles northwest of Amidon. From Amidon, go west 2 miles on US Highway 85 and turn onto the gravel road. Go west 1 mile and then turn north on U.S. Forest Service road #742, travel north about 9 miles until you reach the campground turnoff sign. The campground is approximately 1 mile east.
The trail is singletrack, dirt, sometimes graveled. It winds through the southern North Dakota badlands, which are less rugged than the badlands further North. It provides sweeping vistas of the Little Missouri River and large buttes, including Bullion Butte to the West. It is well-marked with wooden posts that have a turtle symbol on them.
There are three campgrounds on the trail, Burning Coal Vein on the Southern end, Coal Creek near the middle, and Sully Creek State Park at the Northern end. There are also a number of trailheads accessible by car.
There are water cache boxes near some trailheads allowing travelers to stock water along the trail. From South to North, the trailheads with boxes are Third Creek, Tom's Wash, Bear Creek, and Plumely Draw.
Flora & Fauna
Mule deer, coyotes, golden eagle, prairie falcon, pheasants, domestic cattle (the trail passes through open range).