Interstate 90 travels through this scenic rural valley that stretches 25 miles between Rapid City and Sturgis. The villages of Piedmont and Black Hawk are along the route. Natural history attractions include a petrified forest, a crystal cave and geology-rich Little Elk Canyon. Local resorts and campgrounds cater to vacationers, turkey hunters and outdoorsmen.
Bear Butte State Park
Continue north on I-90 to Sturgis, home of the world-famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Travel seven miles farther to Bear Butte State Park where Bear Butte towers over the surrounding prairie. Visitors to this sentinel mountain should stop at the Bear Butte Education Center. There you will learn the geological story of this almost-volcano; its role as a pioneer landmark; and its continuing role as a holy mountain and founding place of religion for several tribes of Plains Indians. A two-mile trail makes the climb to the 4,426-foot summit.
To the west of Piedmont is the 111-mile Centennial Trail. The trail begins on the prairie near Bear Butte State Park, winds up to the high country of the northern Black Hills and down through the hills, skirting streams and lakes. The trail enters Norbeck Wildlife Preserve and Black Elk Wilderness near Mount Rushmore, crosses through Custer State Park and ends at Wind Cave National Park north of Hot Springs. In addition to hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking are allowed on certain areas of the trail. A portion of the trail between Dalton and Nemo is designated for ATV use. Check out the Centennial Trail website for more details.