Lead is located in Lawrence County, tucked away in the Black Hills. This small town was founded during the 1876 Black Hills Gold Rush. Until 2002, Lead was the home to Homestake Mine, the largest gold mine in the Western Hemisphere. The mine is now closed, but the legacy of the gold rush days lives on in the community.
Lead’s puptastic parks give your canine pal a chance to
get outside and feel the sun on his back. Manuel Brothers Park is a community
hub. Named after the men that first claimed the Homestake gold in 1876, this
park hosts events like 4th of July fireworks and the Winterfest
Bonfire. It also has sport courts, horseshoe pits, and playgrounds. Your pup
will love trotting around the large grassy field. You can also take him to
Washington Park for a nice afternoon stroll. Take a couple laps around the lawn area to get
his heart rate pumping.
Un-fur-tunately, Lead doesn’t have any veterinary clinics of its own. So if your pup is feeling under weather, you’ll have to drive to Spearfish or Sturgis for care. But the town’s parks and access to the Black Hills make it a pawsome place to raise a four legged family member.
If your pup is bursting with energy, then it’s definitely time for a trip to the Lead Dog Park. Don’t be fooled by the unassuming appearance of this park, once you head up the hill by the parking lot, you will come to a large off leash area. Your pup will have plenty of room to dart and dash around. She can also wrestle with new playmates. A picnic table is provided for pet parents. Make sure you bring water; your dog will be thirsty after running around. When she’s done playing, follow the trail that is connected to the park for a nice cool down.
The George S. Mickelson Trail is a 109 trail that stretches vertically across western South Dakota. It can be accessed at the Walt Green Park in southwestern Lead. Before you venture down the path, check out historical displays at the park. Your pal can learn all about the gold rush days before heading out for some exercise. The trail stays pretty level as it passes through the ponderosa pine and spruce forests of the Black Hills. Keep your pup on leash since you may encounter cyclists, horseback riders, or joggers. Also bring water; facilities are few and far between and you don't want a thirsty pup on your hands!
Does your pooch love to hike? He’s in luck because this area has some amazing pet friendly hikes. The 76 Trail may be short, but it packs a mean punch, so make sure your pal is up for a good leg workout. The steep trail is just over a mile one way, and leads to some stunning views of Spearfish Canyon. The Devil’s Bathtub is must. The trail passes through towering limestone walls and lush vegetation. It also crosses through water, so your pup will have the chance to cool off his paws. It is about two miles roundtrip. As always, bring plenty of water for you and your furry hiking buddy.
Three miles north of Lead is the small community of Deadwood. Step back in time with a walk down Main Street. Your pup will get a taste of the Wild West as he moseys around this old mining town. If your belly starts to rumble, stroll into Saloon Number 10. Not only can your pup join you inside, she’ll be welcomed with treats and water. This place has a vast assortment of drinks to go along with their sandwiches and tacos. If you want to stay in town a night or two, you’ll have plenty of pet friendly places to choose from. Check out Cadillac Jack's Gaming Resort, First Gold Hotel and Gaming, or Deadwood KOA.
Roughlock Falls is another puptastic hike in the area. Located in Savoy, the trailhead is about 25 minutes from Lead. You and your four legged hiking buddy will pass through lush vegetation as you walk alongside Little Spearfish Creek. As the name suggests, Roughlock Falls is the main feature of this trail. The Little Spearfish Creek spills over a 50 foot limestone ledge spraying onlookers with refreshing mist. Snap a photo with your furry BFF before making your way down the trail. The hike clocks in at about 4 miles. No bones about it, this trail will make your pup’s tail wag!