Route: Centennial Trail (SD)

South Dakota, US

This trail was built in 1989 to mark the 100th anniversary of South Dakota’s statehood.  It is an 111-mile trail that will take you through prairies and mountainous areas.  The trail begins at Bear Butte State Park, travels through the Fort Mead Recreation Area, Black Hills National Forest, Custer State Park and ends in Wind Cave National Park.


2007: Thru hiker than completed the distance over 5 1/2 days
2014: Thru hiker in 4 3/4 days

43.6296892, -103.4404317


I will be attempting this starting super early Friday, June 22nd and hope to conclude Saturday night. I will be going southbound.

Any news on what happened with the attempt? 

I had to stop around mile 80 with some medical issues. I plan to attempt again this year. 

Ajay Pickett, Rory Anderson, and Matt Rose will be attempting the Unsupported FKT on the Centennial Trail headed NOBO starting late on Wednesday, May 21st.  We will each be carrying our own gear, food, and tracking our individual routes.  Per the FKT rules, we will all travel and finish together.  We will be using a Garmin Mini for live tracking (will post this link shortly) as well as various wrist-based GPS devices.

Since the Black Hills race got cancelled, I decided to fastpack the Centennial Trail instead. I will start tomorrow morning 6/26 NOBO unsupported from Wind Cave. Not sure how long it will take as I've never really tried this before, but I've only got 4 days off, so hopefully less than that. I'm going to call it a FFT (Fastest Fun Time) attempt as I don't really have goals other than to enjoy the trail. I will be recording with my Garmin watch and Inreach. Update in a few days if I make it past French Creek which is flooding today. 

Well, it wasn't always fun, but overall a great trip. I started at 6:01 am on 6/26 and finished at 1:55 pm on 6/29, so 3 days 7 hours 54 mins. I did have to leave the trail a couple of times. Once to go around the bison herd to get into CSP, which added a bit of distance and once I cut a corner of the trail just before Bear Butte Lake because the cows wouldn't get off the trail and I didn't want to herd them for the next mile.

The trail is pretty well marked, but is pretty overgrown in a few sections with some major poison ivy patches. Temps up into the 90s on a few days made for some rough conditions. Somebody get out there and break 3 days!