“A slightly longer, flatter alternative to the South Side Trail.”
— Brian Smith
Features: Views — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
From the Belle Fourche Campground, you'll follow the Campground Spur
and then the South Side Trail
momentarily to access this trail. The trail is straightforward but boasts awesome views of the tower and its surroundings.
The trail traverses the Belle Fourche floodplain to the northeast before turning more to the north and crossing the park road. Soon after crossing the road, you'll come to a T-intersection with Red Beds Trail
. Turning either way will get you to the visitor center, but going right is a slightly longer route. If you go left, you can also make a short loop by linking up with South Side Trail
Flora & Fauna
This trail traverses the park's floodplain ecosystem and is home to prairie dog colonies. A prairie dog's light-brown fur blends in well with the color of the dirt that makes up their mounds. Named due to their bark-like alarm call and black-tipped tails, prairie dogs are, on average, about 14 to 17 inches in total length and weigh between 1 and 3 pounds. With short, strong legs and toes with long nails on their front and hind feet, prairie dogs are well-equipped for a burrowing lifestyle.