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--- Postcard From The Wordy Explorers ---

Almost at the Top of the Lover's Leap Trail

avatar   Stacy

Posted On 11/01/2020 09:18:55

South Dakota | Custer | Custer State Park | Hiking | Summer Trail Challenge | Lover's Leap Trail | Prairie Trail

Almost at the Top of the Lover's Leap Trail


Custer State Park has a Summer Trail Challenge each year. During 2020, fulfilling the challenge required the completion of 8 specific hikes between May 1 and September 14. To prove completion, an official form must be completed and submitted. The form includes spaces for a rubbing of the bronze medallion found at the approximate midway point of each hike. Both the Prairie Trail and Lover's Leap Trail, the two hikes that we completed, happened to be included in the 2020 challenge!

     The Wordy Explorers

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Do you have an all time favorite hike?

No visit to Custer State Park can be considered complete without checking off at least one hike. With so many options, we had a difficult time choosing which hikes to do. We finally settled on the Prairie Trail and Lover's Leap Trail - each 3 miles long (and both full of poison ivy).

We chose the moderately difficult Prairie Trail for the summer wildflowers and possibility of buffalo sightings. Most of the trail crossed the mixed grass prairie, but there was one rather steep hill near the half-way point. We crossed several streams, but that's not always the case - streams are seasonal and depend on recent rainfall. Completing the entire loop took us about 1 1/2 hours.

There was no easy start on the Lover's Leap Trail. The moderate to strenuous loop began with an uphill climb. Actually, it was uphill most of the way to the panoramic view from the rock formation called Lover's Leap. We chose the hike as it is one of the park's most popular (and because I read that there are often bighorn sheep in the area). We were lucky that there were others a short distance ahead of us otherwise we might have stopped at the point where the Badger Clark quote was posted. We would have missed the final scramble to the top where according to legend, two Native American lovers leapt to their death. Fortunately, it was all downhill back to the trailhead! The hike took us about 2 hours - including time for photos.

Of all the hikes that you have done, which was your favorite or most memorable?

#WordyExplorers #SouthDakota #custer #CusterStatePark #SummerTrailChallenge #PrairieTrail #LoversLeapTrail #hiking #PoisonIvy #camping #goRVing

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Notable Quote

Light a campfire and everyone's a storyteller. - John Geddes

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