BHNF Trail #58: Osprey Trail | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

BHNF Trail #58: Osprey Trail

Trail Use Fees: 

Visitors need to purchase a day-use fee in order to park at the trailheads during the summer season.

Trail Difficulty: 
Easy

Trail Length: 
Trail lengths shown represent the distance from the trailhead, around the loop, to the overlook, and back to the trailhead. Total length of both trails is 2.2 miles.

Trail Elevation Range: 
4,600 feet

The Osprey Trail was appropriately named because osprey are often seen in the Pactola Lake area. Osprey, also known as fish hawks, are fish-eating specialists, with live fish accounting for about 99 percent of their diet.

Osprey are spectacular divers. Once they have sighted their prey, they fold their wings tightly, descend swiftly and enter the water feet first, often submerging completely. Long sharp talons and barbed pads grip the slippery fish. The fish will be carried back to the nest headfirst to make it as erodynamic as possible.

Osprey often build their nests on telephone poles. Along the trail you will find two comfortable benches. Sit back and enjoy the spectacular view while you read a book, write a letter, or just get lost in your favorite thoughts.

Directions

From Rapid City take Highway 44 west to the junction with Highway 385. Turn to the south and travel 2.8 miles to the junction with FSR 258 just past the Pactola Visitor Center. Travel west on FSR 258 for 1.4 miles to junction with FSR 545. Take FSR 545 for one mile to the trailhead.

There are two trailheads for the trail. The closer one is located just past the fee station to the left of the road. If parking here it will be necessary to walk on the road to get to the beginning of the trail. The other trailhead is located off the end of the Loop A camping area. Trail mileages are measured from the second trailhead.

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