Tuesday ยท July 11, 2023
Fort Pierre National Grassland: Top Horse Trails | July 2023
Author: Admin

Fort Pierre National Grassland, located in South Dakota, is a hidden gem for horse enthusiasts seeking scenic and thrilling trails. Spanning over 116,000 acres of rolling prairies, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking vistas, this grassland offers an unforgettable experience for riders of all skill levels. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced equestrian, there are several trails within Fort Pierre National Grassland that are worth exploring. Here are the top horse trails that should be on every rider's bucket list.


1. Cedar Butte Loop Trail:

The Cedar Butte Loop Trail is a fantastic choice for riders seeking both adventure and beauty. This 10-mile loop takes riders through dense woodlands, open meadows, and alongside the scenic Missouri River. The trail offers a moderate level of difficulty, making it suitable for experienced riders. Along the way, you can spot various wildlife species and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding grasslands.


2. Sage Creek Rim Trail:

For more experienced and adventurous riders, the Sage Creek Rim Trail is a must-do. This 12-mile trail winds through the picturesque Sage Creek Canyon, offering stunning views of the expansive grassland and rugged landscapes. You'll ride along the rim of the canyon, with the opportunity to spot bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and other wildlife. This trail is moderately difficult due to some steep sections, but the breathtaking scenery makes it well worth the effort.


3. Cottonwood Trail:

If you prefer a shorter trail, the 5-mile Cottonwood Trail is an excellent choice. This trail takes you through rolling hills, grassy meadows, and beneath towering cottonwood trees, providing a peaceful and scenic ride. The trail is relatively easy, perfect for beginners or those looking for a more leisurely ride. Don't forget to keep an eye out for deer, wild turkeys, and other wildlife that frequent this trail.


4. Palisades Horse Trail:

For a unique riding experience, the Palisades Horse Trail should not be missed. This 8-mile trail takes riders through diverse landscapes, including grasslands, rocky hills, and dense forests. The highlight of this trail is the magnificent Bad River, which is flanked by towering limestone walls known as the Palisades. The trail offers breathtaking views of these impressive formations and the surrounding grassland. With its mix of terrain, the Palisades Horse Trail provides both a thrilling and rewarding ride.


5. Green Hill Trail:

If you are looking for a tranquil and scenic ride, the Green Hill Trail is the perfect choice. This 6-mile trail meanders through lush meadows, wildflower fields, and amidst golden prairies. Riding along this trail in late spring or early summer provides the opportunity to witness an explosion of vibrant wildflowers in bloom. The trail is easy to moderate, making it suitable for riders of all abilities.


Before hitting the horse trails in Fort Pierre National Grassland, it is essential to be adequately prepared. Ensure your horse is in good health and properly outfitted with suitable tack and equipment. Also, be sure to bring enough water, food, and emergency supplies for both you and your horse. Respect the natural environment by staying on designated trails, leaving no trace, and avoiding any disturbance to wildlife.


Exploring the horse trails of Fort Pierre National Grassland is a remarkable experience. From sweeping vistas to diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife, these trails offer a memorable adventure for horse enthusiasts of all levels. So, saddle up, and embark on an equestrian journey through the breathtaking beauty of this South Dakota grassland.