“A run through badlands and rolling grasslands.
— Karen Ryberg
Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Artifacts and other cultural features are protected by Federal Law. Pack out all trash and other materials.
The trail can be accessed from the Bennett Campground. Take U.S. Highway 85 7.5 miles north of Grassy Butte, North Dakota, then drive west 4 miles. Turn south on Forest Service Road #824, proceed approximately 0.5 mile, turn west, and continue approximately 0.5 mile into the campground. Take the Bennett Trail
west about 0.4 mile, where you turn south onto the Cottonwood Trail.
From here, the trail proceeds 7 miles south, crossing two large badlands drainages that provide some extended climbing and descending. The trail makes for a nice loop of about 15 miles, using the Maah Daah Hey
and Bennett Trail
to get back to the Bennett Campground. From the junction of the Cottonwood and Maah Daah Hey
Trail, one could also run 2.5 miles south on Kate's Walk on the Maah Daah Hey Trail
and access Beiciegel Creek Road.
Flora & Fauna
The trail is part of the U.S. Forest Service Dakota Prairie National Grasslands. Visitors to this area often see deer (mule and whitetail), elk, antelope, and bighorn sheep. Coyotes and prairie dogs round out the mammals. Plenty of fowl call the area home, and falcons, red tail hawks, golden eagles, prairie chickens, wild turkeys, sharptail grouse and pheasants can all be seen. Do keep an eye out for rattle snakes!