A local trail hiking group is planning will provide people with a sneak peak at some of the newest trails in the Black Hills — but they'll have to put in a little work along the way.
Black Hills Trails is holding a trail day on Saturday, June 10 to work on the Deadman Trail system to the Sturgis City Dams.
The event starts at 8 a.m. lasts until roughly 2 p.m and all work will happen on the city of Sturgis property. Volunteers will meet at the Deadman Trailhead located south of Interstate 90 Exit 32 on Pineview Drive near Flex Fitness. From there, they will be split up to several entry points along the trails to the dams.
Black Hills Trails has been working for 18 months building a trail system on municipal property using mechanical equipment. The volunteers will be using light hand tools such as rakes to finish the trail surface, removing rocks, defining the line of travel and also doing light re-shaping or dirt work in some areas, according to Samuel Greear from Black Hills Trails.
"The manner in which the trails were constructed left a somewhat rough and rocky line of travel," Greear said. "The hand work done by the volunteers will greatly improve the user experience on the trail for everyone that hikes or rides it."
Greear said they hope on Saturday to finish two of what will eventually be four trails to the city dams property.
The Deadman trails will be a 23-mile system in a high portion of the northeastern Black Hills, just a few miles west of Sturgis in an area crossed by Vanocker Canyon Road. The mountains there ascend to elevations of 5,000 feet and plunge into deep gorges, including one cut by Alkali Creek. Sturgis formerly drew its water from several dams on the creek, and the city still owns the dams and a surrounding parcel of land.The Deadman trails — which share a name with existing "Deadman" features in the area, including Deadman Mountain — will cross the city-owned land and also some U.S. Forest Service land.
No experience is necessary to take place in the volunteer day and tools will be provided. Volunteers are being asked to wear boots or sturdy foot wear and be able to hike five miles while they work.
There will be a waterside lunch provided for volunteers at 12:30 p.m. at dam number 3.