South Dakota is filled with an abundance of beautiful sights to see, such as its Badlands National Park, open plains, large mountains, and even amazing historical sites like Mount Rushmore. Along with much to see, there are hundreds of trails made for biking, horseback riding, and hiking. Long bike rides are always a joy, and here you will discover the longest biking trail in South Dakota.
With a total area of 77,116 square miles (199,730 square kilometers), South Dakota is the 17th largest state in the U.S. and is home to various wildlife and vegetation. Trails are a great way to witness a state’s scenery and take a step out into nature. Let’s take a look at South Dakota’s longest biking trail and the sights it has to offer.
What Is the Longest Bike Trail in South Dakota?
The Sioux Falls Bike Trail Loop is the longest bike path in South Dakota and runs for over 34 miles of paved trail. The trail system contains a 19-mile loop that goes around the city and follows the Big Sioux River. Over 15 miles of the Sioux Falls Bike Trail Loop diverges into neighborhoods, connecting them to the loop.
Going through urban and wildlife areas in Sioux Falls, SD, this bike path is the longest in the state. Open daily, this loop links the city’s parks and recreational attractions. A paved multi-use trail, along with biking, you can also run or leisurely stroll on the path. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed at all times.
Spring to fall is the best time to take a ride on this trail. In the winter, the path may get too slippery to ride due to the rain, but this trail system is open year-round. In the cold season, water fountains and bathrooms may close to prevent pipes from freezing.
Navigating the Sioux Falls Bike Trail Loop
The Sioux Falls Bike Trail Loop is around 19 miles long and takes you around the city. This bike trail is fully paved and takes you through the many parks that are located in Sioux Falls. Below are segmented for the loop and their mileage. Using a map of the area can allow you to plan your trip.
- Falls Park to 10th St.: 0.89 miles
- 10th St.to Cliff Bridge: 0.63 miles
- Cliff Bridge to 18th St. Bridge: 0.93 miles
- 18th St. to 26th St.: 0.68 miles
- 26th St. to Cliff Bridge at Tuthill: 1.87 miles
- Cliff Bridge to Minnesota Bridge: 1.31 miles
- Minnesota Bridge to Western Bridge: 1.26 miles
- Western Bridge to 41st St. Bridge: 1.36 miles
- 41st St. Bridge to Golf Bridge: 1.42 miles
- Golf Bridge to 12th St. Bridge: 0.70 miles
- 12th St. to Madison St. Bridge: 1.05 miles
- Madison St. to Russel St. Bridge: 0.50 miles
- Russel St. to Maple St. Bridge: 0.49 miles
- Maple St. Bridge to Minnesota Ave: 3.15 miles
- Minnesota Ave. to Falls Park: 2.89 miles
Using the Sioux Falls Bike Trail Loop map is best to see the trail’s divergences, and where you may want to start riding. Water fountains, bathrooms, swimming pools, and rest areas are located in some of the parks that the loop goes by. Some of the more popular attractions along this trail are the Great Plains Zoo, Falls Park, the Elmwood Golf Course, and the Sanford Sports Complex.
Bicyclists that ride the greenways are expected to follow traffic laws similar to those on a roadway. Keeping a safe distance from other riders, signaling when turning, having a helmet, and keeping lights when riding at night are things you should consider to keep safe on the bike path.
Sioux Falls Bike Trail Difficulty
The 19-mile loop on the Sioux Falls Bike Trail Loop and the rest of the trail is fairly easy for beginner riders since it is fully paved and keeps a gentle grade of around five percent or less. Riding the bike loop, on average, takes around 5 hours and 45 minutes, and longer if you decide to go down the trail paths that diverge from the loop. The length of this trail may make it more challenging for beginner riders to complete, especially for those not accustomed to long rides.
Wildlife on the Sioux Falls Bike Trail Loop
The Sioux Falls Bike Trail Loop takes you into urban and wildlife areas with lots of scenic views. The Sioux Falls waterfall is the most popular attraction on this trail. This trail follows the Big Sioux River, going through forested areas and farmlands. Falls Park is where the waterfall is located, which drops over 7,400 gallons of water over 100 feet.
The trees and waterways in the city attract wildlife such as raccoons, deer, birds, squirrels, rabbits, and coyotes that you may see on your ride. The Great Plains Zoo is also along this bike trail and has over 1,000 animals. Bears, giraffes, monkeys, rhinos, and more than 100 species of animals can be viewed at the zoo.
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- Bike riding and Trails Map , Available here: https://dtsf.com/bike-trails/
- Loop in Sioux Falls , Available here: https://www.traillink.com/trail/sioux-falls-bike-trails/
- Zoo in Sioux Falls , Available here: https://greatzoo.org/
- Sioux Falls Trail , Available here: https://www.siouxfalls.org/bike