Snowmobiling Sensational Spearfish

October 2002 Feature JILL?BARNES

The Spearfish lies in the northeast corner of the Black Hills of South Dakota.

About 125 years ago, a young soldier named George Armstrong Custer was sent to the Dakotas where gold was discovered in those Black Hills. That find forever changed the area with the outlaw towns of Deadwood and Lead springing up.

But Spearfish held its own. Today, it also has a lot to offer-especially to the snowmobiler.

There are twisty tree-lined trails, open plains, panoramic views, even waterfalls, along what's known as the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway (Highway 14A). Actor-director Kevin Costner saw potential in the region. He filmed many of the winter scenes for his movie "Dances With Wolves" in Spearfish Canyon-so you know there's plenty to see.

Snowmobilers can have a ball exploring the many trails in the Spearfish area. Some favorites include the snow-ways to Cement Ridge Lookout, the Big Hill Lot and very photogenic waterfalls called Roughlock Falls.

The journey to Cement Ridge often begins near the Trailshead Lodge, a sort of starting and ending point that offers food and drink. Trail No. 1 on Map A of the Black Hills Trails Systems runs right through here. It's about a 20-mile ride to Cement Ridge Lookout-if you take the direct route. It's a few more if you enjoy exploring.

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