Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cathedral Spires & Sylvan Lakeshore Hikes, Custer State Park, South Dakota

When we drove through Custer State Park a few weeks ago, we found many trailheads that appears to be the start of great hikes, so we hiked the Cathedral Spires and Sylvan Lakeshore trails today.  

The Cathedral Spires trailhead is found after the Eye of the Needle (when driving clockwise from Keystone). Parking can be troublesome, so be sure to get there early.  The hike is rated as strenuous due to some rock scrambling, but it’s only two to three miles roundtrip (depending on which hiking guide or trail map you read). The trail starts steep, gets a bit steeper, then levels out towards the end.   

The trail system seems very well marked, for this trail, you just follow the blue signs. 
You’ll know you’re at the end by one of two ways ~ either you’ll notice that the trail itself ends, or this sign helps!

After this hike, which took us about one-and-a-half hours, we decided we were hungry (not much of a surprise) and we had a fabulous lunch at the Sylvan Lake Dining Room. Although there isn’t much of a view, we sat outside on the patio (they allowed Zoey to sit with us), and although the service was slow (a large group ordered just before we got there), the food was excellent.
After lunch, we decide to do the fairly easy Sylvan Lake Loop Trail, which begins and ends along the shoreline, but the middle is up-and-down some rocky areas, so don’t let the trail fool you – you’ll still need decent shoes and not sandals.

All-in-all, a fabulous day! :-)

Here are just a couple cool pictures we took along the Sylvan Lake Loop Trail~

Easy and affordable - no matter where you are! 

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