Custer is located in Custer Count, right in the heart of the beautiful Black Hills. The storied history of this small community includes Native Americans, fur trappers, and gold miners. Today, this small community is within miles of all five major attractions in the Black Hills, including the Mount Rushmore National Monument.
If you and your pooch companion need a place to bunk, Custer has nearly two dozen options. Four legged guests are welcome to slumber in select cabins at Custer State Park Resort. Super 8 Custer Crazy Horse is another hotel option. If you have tent or RV, check out Big Pine Campground, Beaver Lake Campground, or the Custer/ Mt. Rushmore KOA. Leashed dogs are welcome at all three of these campgrounds.
After a day of exploring the nearby sites, grab a bite to
eat at Pizza Works. Order some pizza, pasta, or a piping hot calzone. Your dog
can join you at one of the outdoor tables. End your day with a slice of pie from Bobkat’s
Purple Pie Place. Get it to go or hang out with your pooch at one of the patio
Although it is small in size, Custer’s two local veterinary clinics, convenient access to outdoor recreation, and abundant pet friendly accommodations make it one puptastic place for dogs!
If your pooch wants a good leg workout, grab his leash and head over to the Custer Skywalk. Located in Big Rock Park, this short trail packs a mean punch. It is a combination of wooden stairs and a dirt path. The amazing panoramic views from the top will make the climb totally worth it. Although the hike is only .6 miles roundtrip, bring plenty of water for your pup. He’ll be thirsty after his workout. When you are finished, stop by Harbach Park. Stroll near the small creek, then settle in for a picnic. Don’t forget to bring a couple biscuits for your furry BFF.
Next time your pup needs a walk, check out the George S. Mickelson Trail. This 108 mile trail stretches across several South Dakota counties with a section cutting right through Custer. Follow the trail north of town for a great workout combined with amazing scenery. Your pup will love the ponderosa pines, open meadows, and rocky mountains. Five miles north of Custer on the trail will reveal a great view of the Crazy Horse Memorial, an under construction mountain monument commemorating Native Americans. Keep in mind the trail is multiuse, so keep your pal leashed and expect to see cyclists and horseback riders.
When in the Black Hills, a visit to the Custer State Park should be on the top of your To Do list. With gorgeous vistas of granite peaks and rolling hills, this 71,000 acre park will not disappoint. Fur-tunately, leashed dogs are allowed in the park. A variety of trails lets you and your pooch get up close and personal with the park’s beauty. Trails range from a mile to over 10 miles, so there is something for all levels of athletic ability. Your pup won’t be the only four legged critter in the area, as the park is home to bison, mountain lions, prairie dogs, and deer.
Drive 20 minutes north of Custer and you’ll come to Hill City. Your pup will feel right at home in this dog friendly town. Experience some Old World ambience right in the middle of South Dakota. The Alpine Inn, a hotel built in 1886, serves German delicacies like Schnitzel or Kaes Spaetzle. Your pooch can join you at one of the patio tables. Top your day off with a bit of culture. Well behaved leashed dogs can stroll through Warrior’s Work & Ben West Gallery and Dakota Nature and Art. Your four legged art connoisseur will love admiring the work of local artists.
If your pooch prefers shorter walks, but you still want to see the area’s natural beauty, head down to the Wind Caves National Park, just 20 minutes south of Custer in Hot Springs. The Park’s namesake attraction is Wind Cave. Although dogs are not allowed in the cave or on the back country trails, they are welcome to explore the Prairie Vista Nature Trail and the Elk Mountain Nature Trail. Both trails are about a mile long and provide pawsome views of the surrounding prairies, ponderosa pines and rolling hills. There is also a good chance you’ll see some wildlife. Keep your eyes open for bison and prairie dogs.