French Creek Natural Area | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

French Creek Natural Area

  • French Creek Natural Area
Trail Difficulty: 
Trail Length: 
12 miles (one-way)

This trail is truly for those wanting to get in touch with nature. French Creek gently flows through Custer State Park and into the French Creek Natural Area. 

There is no marked trail through this area, hikers can make their own way by following the creek of the paths of previous hikers. The trail crosses the creek many times. In dry months, the first mile or so of the creek flows underground leaving a dry path. 

The Narrows is where the creek pinches together and access is limited to climbing over the cliff (a steep 60 feet) or swimming (100 feet) through the creek. 

On this trail there is an abundance of wildlife-watching opportunities, wild flowers, trout fishing and poison ivy. Overnight camping is allowed with registration. 

Stop by the Peter Norbeck Visitor Center for more information.


On the West end of the park you can find an entrance to this trail 3 miles from Blue Bell Lodge on North Lame Johnny Road and on the East end 4 miles south of the State Game Lodge on Wildlife Loop Road

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