George S. Mickelson Trail covers a total of 109 miles with several different trailheads along the main path that stretches from Edgemont (Fall River County, South Dakota) to Deadwood (Lawrence County, South Dakota). There are additional branching trails that include three miles of a paved link from Custer City to Custer State Park. Additional paths provide access to other cities like Lead and Hill City. That said, the larger part of the trail follows the route along an abandoned railroad track in the Black Hills of South Dakota constructed by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad company in 1890-91.
The George S. Mickelson Trail passes through the Black Hills National Forest, with only minor sections going through private land where the trail is restricted to the main track only. Most of the path along the trail consists of packed, crushed gravel and limestone. Furthermore, the general terrain along the track and surrounding areas consist of forest and scenic hills. Along the trail, you will find over 100 converted railroad bridges and four tunnels.
When on the trail, it is important to be aware that all wildlife along the trail can be dangerous. Some of the wildlife that you will come across along the trail include rattlesnakes and mountain lions. You should also be aware of poison ivy which is a poisonous plant usually with three-pointed, shiny leaves that can cause severe skin irritation.
The main activities that make this trail popular include historical interest, hiking, biking, horseback riding, birdwatching, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. Most of the amenities that can be found along the trail are at the fifteen, well-spaced established trailheads, all of which have vehicle parking, self-sale trail pass stations, vault toilets, and tables. You can bring your dog with you along the trail but make sure that you keep your dog on a leash and avoid causing disturbance to flora and fauna including plants, wildlife, and domestic animals like cattle along the path.