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GFP News - June 26, 2014

Riders Can Still Register for 17th Annual Mickelson Trail Trek

LEAD, S.D.--Openings still exist for riders to take part in the 17th Annual Mickelson Trail Trek, say state park officials. The deadline for early registration for the Sept. 19-21 ride is July 1. After that, merchandise is not included with registration.

Registration can be completed online by visiting and following the "Trail Trek" link. Registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Riders on the Trail Trek will cover 109 miles of the trail over three days, from Friday, Sept. 19, through Sunday, Sept. 21. The registration fee includes the trail pass, shuttle service, commemorative souvenirs, refreshments and some meals during each day's ride. Riders are responsible for accommodations and mechanical support. The ride is open to all bicyclists 14 years of age or older.

The Trail Trek highlights the George S. Mickelson Trail as it winds through the heart of the Black Hills from Edgemont to Lead/Deadwood. The ride began as a celebration of the completion of the rails-to-trails project. It continues today to introduce new bicyclists to the trail and thank supporters for their long-standing enthusiasm for the Black Hills trail.

For more information on the Mickelson Trail or the Trail Trek, visit or contact the Black Hills Trail office at 605-584-3896.


Trolley Rides Allow Those With Physical Limitations to Experience the Mickelson Trail

DEADWOOD, S.D.--Black Hills visitors with physical limitations have two opportunities in July to view the Mickelson Trail--Tuesday, July 1, and Wednesday, July 9.

The trolley leaves the Deadwood Trailhead at 1 p.m. MDT on July 1, and tours the Mickelson Trail from Englewood to Rochford. To reserve a spot on this tour, call 605-578-1401.

On July 9, participants will meet at the Hill City Trailhead at 10 a.m. MDT, and ride the trail from High Country to Mystic. Reservations for this trip can be made by calling 1-800-888-1798.

Riders will learn about the history of the former railroad line and the inception of the trail. The rides are about four hours long.

"Trolley rides are an excellent way for people with physical limitations to get out and experience the Mickelson Trail," said Dana Garry, park manager. "Everyone has a wonderful time and learns a little about the trail."

Reservations are required. Each person reserving a space on the trolley will be required to have a handicapped parking permit. One assistant is allowed to accompany the person, if needed. The trolley has space available for up to two people who use wheelchairs.

The trolley rides are a combined effort of the Hill City and Deadwood Chambers of Commerce, Neighborhood Housing, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department and the City of Deadwood.

Two additional trolley rides will be held in September.

For more information, contact the Mickelson Trail office at 605-584-3896.


Celebrate Independence Day with S.D. State Park Events

PIERRE, S.D.--The Fourth of July is always a busy time at state parks across South Dakota. Make plans to visit a state park during the holiday period and attend one of the following events.

There is no cost to participate in any of the events, although park entrance licenses are required. Visitors are encouraged to dress according to the weather. All participants in the bike parades are encouraged to wear helmets and appropriate shoes.

For more information on activities in South Dakota state parks, visit , contact the individual park office or call 605-773-3391.


State Park Visitors Should Leave Fireworks at Home

PIERRE, S.D.--The upcoming Fourth of July holiday is always a busy time in South Dakota's state parks and recreation areas. If you plan to celebrate at the parks, Game, Fish and Parks Department officials ask you to please leave fireworks at home.

According to Doug Hofer, state parks director, campgrounds are traditionally very busy with campers and other visitors enjoying the parks during the Independence Day period.

"Combining fireworks and large numbers of people creates a dangerous situation," said Hofer. "We appreciate your help to keep the parks safe and fun this Fourth of July."

Discharging fireworks is prohibited on all lands owned or leased by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. The ban includes state parks, recreation areas, lakeside use areas, game production areas and nature areas. Discharging fireworks is also illegal within the boundaries of the Black Hills Forest Fire Protection District, national forests and national parks in South Dakota.

For more information on the South Dakota State Parks, visit or call 605-773-3391.


Northern Fort Playhouse Begins its Ninth Season at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park in July

LAKE CITY, S.D.--The Northern Fort Playhouse will present "The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns" and "Perfect Wedding" during its ninth season at Fort Sisseton Historic State Park throughout July.

Northern State University's Department of Theater and Fort Sisseton Historical State Park have joined with Northern Fort Playhouse Foundation to develop a summer playhouse of fine arts entertainment for park audiences.

"We are excited that the South Barracks will be transformed into a theater this July," said Katie Ceroll, Fort Sisseton park manager. "Combining drama with the serene atmosphere and natural beauty of the lakes and prairies will make for a nice evening. This will be a highlight of our summer season."

The performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings beginning July 11 and run through July 26 with Sunday matinees on July 13 and 20. A special midweek matinee will also be presented on July 23.

To make the event even more special, a wine and cheese reception has been added to the Friday night performances, featuring two new northeastern South Dakota wineries; Whetstone Creek of Wilmot and With-the-Wind Vineyard and Winery of Rosholt.

A dinner theatre is offered on Saturday evenings and a luncheon precedes the play on Sunday afternoons. All meals are catered locally.

The varied performance schedule provides an opportunity to catch both shows at convenient times:

The Marvelous Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns

Perfect Wedding

The Northern Fort Playhouse offers a Ride Line for performances on July 18, 19 and 23 from Aberdeen with stops in Groton and/or Webster, as requested. The cost is $8 per person, round trip.

For menus, directions and additional information visit or call 605-467-3247.

Fort Sisseton Historic State Park is located 10 miles southwest of Lake City off South Dakota Highway 10. For additional information about the historical fort, visit or call 605-448-5474.


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