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FAST Breaks Ground on Dirt Trail in Tuthill Park

In good news, Falls Area Single Track (FAST) broke ground on its newest multi-use trail system in Tuthill Park last week.

Falls Area Single Track dirt trail system, to be completed fall 2018.
Falls Area Single Track dirt trail system, to be completed fall 2018.

The new Tuthill Park trail system will run up to four miles along the Big Sioux bluff, with average grades of 8% to 10% and maximum grades of 17%. FAST is taking donations; they say they’ve raised about $40K of the $70K needed to complete the Tuthill Park project by this fall.

FAST has established two other single-track trail systems, one up north at Leaders Park and one in the trees and dirt next the river and the paved bike trail at Yankton Trail Park.


  1. Porter Lansing 2018-07-03 10:05

    Cool trail ~ 🚴 ✯✯✯✯✯

  2. Donald Pay 2018-07-03 10:18

    I don’t think I could support this. I would rather that area be converted into a conservation park. It has some very nice long-established riparian and upland woods, and some of the upper parts have native prairie, or at least it did when I was a student at Augie. Yes, the area has been degraded by overuse, but it could definitely come back with proper management.

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-07-03 14:12

    Donald’s opposition raises the conflict I encounter with the trails on Lookout Mountain out in Spearfish and use of the Black Elk Wilderness and especially Trail #9 from Sylvan Lake to Black Elk Peak. I love those places. I love being able to hike and run there. I love being able to share them with other people. But I know that trails and people conflict with conservation.

    Can we preserve the outdoors without allowing people to access the outdoors?

  4. John 2018-07-03 18:29

    I doubt that a professional trail engineer would find those grades sustainable for the soil, for soil erosion, for maintaining water quality, etc. Folks had to and continue re-routing many segments of the Centennial Trail (SD GFP, FS, BLM) because in the rush to build it for the 100th, too many segments have or are washing away from poorly designed drainage, slopes, and heavy use. It’s a great idea, a good trail getting better.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-07-03 18:47

    Interesting, John! I have Hiram Rogers’s Black Hills/Badlands trail book from 1994. If I used its Centennial Trail maps today, how often would I get lost?

  6. Donald Pay 2018-07-04 10:44

    John’s point is a good one. I spent time in this park, wandering around looking for spring ephemerals, some of which would be at the western extent of their range, and native prairie. I actually got paid by Augie to find and catalogue patches of native prairie in Minnehaha County. If I remember, the wooded area is a north-northwest-facing slope going from the Sioux River up onto an upland.

    There used to be (haven’t been there in decades) some small patches (many 2-5 acres in extent) of relic native prairie on the upper slopes and at the top. The prairie continued onto some neighboring private land. There are some very steep areas, highly susceptible to erosion. I can’t image the damage that would be done to that land by putting bikes on it. There were areas by the river that were great habitat for birds. There were some isolated, small wetter areas on the opposite side of the river. I found my first sora there.

    I’m not saying the forest is close to pristine. I has gone through quite a lot of abuse already, but with some diligent management, it could become a a great island of nature in the great urban expanse of Sioux Falls.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-07-05 18:05

    Donald, I recognize the damage off-road bicycles can do. From what you remember, could that area sustain foot traffic?

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