Tuesday ยท July 11, 2023
Buffalo Gap National Grassland: Top Horse Trails | July 2023
Author: Admin

Buffalo Gap National Grassland, located in South Dakota, offers a vast expanse of open prairies, rolling hills, and rugged canyons, making it a haven for equestrians and their equine companions. With its abundant horse trails, riders can explore the breathtaking beauty of the grasslands, immerse themselves in nature, and experience the freedom of wide-open spaces. In this article, we will explore some of the top horse trails in Buffalo Gap National Grassland.


1. Prairie Wind Trail:

Prairie Wind Trail is a popular choice among horse enthusiasts due to its diverse landscapes and stunning vistas. This 17-mile loop trail takes riders through grassy plateaus, deep valleys, and past unique geological formations. Along the way, you might catch a glimpse of pronghorns, coyotes, or even bison. Be prepared for rolling terrain and occasional steep ascents, allowing for an exciting and challenging ride.


2. Bert & Ernie Loop:

Named after two famous characters from "Sesame Street," the Bert & Ernie Loop offers a pleasant 10-mile ride through the grasslands. This trail is ideal for riders of all skill levels and is known for its gentle slopes and scenic beauty. Along the loop, you'll come across wildflowers, wildlife, and stunning panoramic views, providing plenty of opportunities for breathtaking photographs.


3. French Creek Trail:

For equestrians seeking a more adventurous and immersive experience, the French Creek Trail is an excellent choice. This 13-mile trail, located in the southern part of the grassland, follows the meandering French Creek. Riders will be treated to rugged canyons, towering cliffs, and lush vegetation. The trail is challenging due to its rocky sections and stream crossings, so it's recommended for experienced riders and sure-footed horses.


4. Conata Basin Trail:

The Conata Basin Trail is a must-ride for those seeking solitude and untouched beauty. Stretching over 20 miles, this trail meanders through rolling grasslands, offering unobstructed views of the surrounding prairies. Riding this trail gives equestrians a chance to connect with nature and really appreciate the vastness and serenity of Buffalo Gap National Grassland.


5. Sage Creek Rim Trail:

For riders looking for a shorter option or a quick ride, the Sage Creek Rim Trail provides a stunning 5-mile loop. Starting and ending near the fascinating Badlands National Park, this trail offers breathtaking views of the rugged Badlands formations and the expansive grasslands. The trail showcases the contrasting landscapes of the region, and riders may even spot bighorn sheep while exploring its twists and turns.


When enjoying the horse trails of Buffalo Gap National Grassland, it's important to respect the environment and follow all rules and regulations. Make sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, first aid supplies, and extra layers of clothing when riding, as weather conditions can change rapidly.


Whether you're an experienced rider or a novice equestrian, Buffalo Gap National Grassland has a trail for you. With its diverse terrain, abundant wildlife, and awe-inspiring views, these horse trails will provide an unforgettable riding experience. So, saddle up, explore the trails, and discover the untamed beauty of this remarkable grassland.