SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN ) - Going down the beaten path is now a bit easier, now that the Spearfish Falls Trail is open.
Four years ago a winter storm blew through the Black Hills, dumping around 5 feet of snow, destroying a bridge on the trail to Spearfish Falls. The National Guard helped the Game, Fish and Parks Department by building a bridge and helping complete the lower observation deck.
“It has been a long process, we’ve started probably, I would say, working with the Spearfish Canyon Foundation two, three years ago we started this process,” said Matt Snyder, Black Hills State Parks regional supervisor.
This summer, crews completed the upper deck and installing signs, benches and restrooms for hikers.
“I think it’s going to enhance their experience, those people already coming to view the falls. And that the signage kind of gives the history of Spearfish Canyon and the falls and what it means. Everyone enjoys a restroom and a place to stop,” said Snyder.
The dedication ceremony held Oct. 5 had many reflecting on the old trail, but excited for the upgrades.
Rick and Darci Hansen, residents of Rapid City, were visiting the area and taking in the sites.
“We’ve been on the old one that came from the other direction, but this one is beautiful, they’ve done a good job of decorating the railings and stuff down here,” said Darci Hansen.
The changes mean the trail is more accessible for all levels of hikers.
“That’s one thing we’ve noticed now is how that a variety of ages an now traverse the trail,” said Snyder.
“The Game, Fish and Parks is doing an excellent job of putting trails and pathways in this area,” said Darci Hansen.
“So, people get out and explore the beautiful trail, beautiful area,” said Rick Hansen.
Future plans include connecting Roughlock Falls, Savoy Pond and Spearfish Falls with the trails.