A Closer Look at the Parks, Peaks, and Prairies Trail

The Adventure Cycling Association is committed to consistently developing trails and unforgettable experiences for cyclists. The newly unveiled Parks, Peaks, and Prairies Trail is a record setting milestone in several ways. Here are some of the highlights that outdoor enthusiasts are sure to enjoy.

Over 50,000 Mile Mark!

The Parks, Peaks, and Prairies Trail officially pushed the total trail routes offered by the ACA over an unbelievable 50,000 miles. The newest trail covers nearly 1300 miles of natural beauty, across breathtaking landscapes in every imaginable variation. It connects the infamous TransAmerica Trail and the ever popular Northern Tier Bicycle Route. The trail ranges from beginner appropriate to very challenging and can be broken up into three major sectors:

  • West Yellowstone, MT to Gillette, WY
  • Gillette, WY to Midland, SD
  • Midland, SD to Minneapolis, MN

Planning A Ride

Some cyclists are ready for the challenge of tackling this formidable trail in one lengthy outing. Others are more content to take on smaller sections and spend more time enjoying the scenery than catching their breath. Similar to the vertical Appalachian Trail in the East, locals who live near an entrance point to the Parks, Peaks, and Prairies Trail are able to set up a series of day trips.

For those who plan to take in all the sites, an interactive mobile app devoted to the Parks, Peaks, and Prairies Trail has been developed. It covers everything from trail conditions, to tourist attractions and weather updates. Cyclists can track their progress and check in periodically, both for safety and bragging rights.

Black Hills and Badlands

Two formidable and favorite spots along the Parks, Peaks, and Prairies trail include the alluring Black Hills and the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Although they are very different turf, both offer an interesting history and tourist attraction. The steep and winding paths through the Black Hills are unforgiving, while much of the Badlands provide a scenic and less challenging route for cyclists of all experience levels.

Rivers and Lakes

The Parks, Peaks, and Prairies Trail features plenty of fresh waterways, which are definitely headliners even if they do not appear in the name. From the gushing Missouri River gap to the tranquil land of lakes in Minnesota, this new trail features plenty of relaxing rest stops. Each section of the terrain offers unique and unforgettable photo opportunities that are sure to make for excellent conversation.