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Registration for 22nd Annual Mickelson Trail Trek opens Dec. 12

Registration for the 22nd Annual Mickelson Trail Trek opens at 8 a.m. MT on Dec. 12. Bicyclists can sign up online at mickelsontrail.com.

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks officials encourage bicyclists to register early to ensure spots in the Trek, which will be held Sept. 20-22, 2019. The ride is limited to 600 participants.

The annual supported ride highlights the George S. Mickelson Trail as it winds through the heart of the Black Hills, from Edgemont to Lead/Deadwood. The ride is open to everyone 14-years-old or older.

Riders on the Trail Trek will cover the entire 109 miles of the trail over three days, from Friday, Sept. 20, through Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.

Registration before June 1 with merchandise is $200, without merchandise $170. Registration after June 1 is $200, but merchandise is not available. The registration fee for the three-day ride includes a trail pass for 2020, shuttle service, refreshments, one meal and snacks during each day's ride. Riders are responsible for accommodations and mechanical support.

Pre-registration is required and may be completed online by visiting mickelsontrail.com and following the “Trail Trek” link. The registration cutoff is Sept. 1, 2019. For more information on the Mickelson Trail or the three-day Mickelson Trail Trek, visit mickelsontrail.com or contact the Black Hills Trails office at 605.584.3896.

Holiday open house and annual bird count set for Wind Cave

 Holiday events this year at Wind Cave National Park begin Dec. 16 with the 23rd Annual Wind Cave National Park Christmas Bird Count followed by the park’s holiday open house on Dec. 17.

Bird count participants should dress for the weather, bring field guides, and binoculars. Plan to meet at the visitor center no later than 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 16. Afterwards, there will be a potluck supper around 4:15 p.m. in the visitor center; bring a dish to share. RSVP by calling the park at 605-745-4600.

The open house will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the visitor center. Light refreshments will be served, and students from the Hot Springs’ third grade will present their Christmas program at 1:30 p.m. The students will also decorate the visitor center Christmas tree.

During the open house, the public will be able to view park exhibits and browse through the park store operated by the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association.

The Christmas Bird Count is patterned after the National Audubon Society’s effort to document trends in wintering birdlife throughout the United States. The count area will include all of Wind Cave National Park and areas of the Black Hills National Forest and Custer State Park.

The visitor center and cave will close on Christmas and New Year’s Day to allow staff to celebrate the holidays with their families. Throughout the remainder of the winter, the visitor center will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with cave tours at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.

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Sports Editor

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.