The city of Deadwood, South Dakota, offers plenty of Wild West history as a national historic landmark. Plus, you’ll find plenty of outdoor recreational activities near the former gold mining town, including fishing, hiking, biking and gold panning. The town and nearby state park offer a variety of public and private campgrounds, all close to the area’s outdoor activities.
Deadwood offers plenty of outdoor recrreational opportunities, including gold panning.
Deadwood is surrounded by the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. The town got its name when gold miners saw the burned trees in the area. The town was a thriving gold placer camp in 1876. Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok are both buried in the area. The town lies south of Interstate 90 near the junction of Highways 85 and 14.
Several campgrounds offer RV campers plenty of room to spend the night, including Whistler Gulch Campground and RV Park. Amenities include full hookups as well as bathroom and shower houses. Play a game on the basketball, volleyball or tennis courts, then enjoy a swim in the heated pool. You can bike or walk to the nearby Mickelson Hiking and Biking Trail or enjoy some creekside trout fishing nearby.
Fish ‘N Fry Campground, located just south of Deadwood, offers shaded or open campsites. The main attraction at Fish ‘N Fry includes trout fishing suitable for all ages. The campground provides the rods, reels and bait. Once you catch the fish, they clean it and cook your trout or pack it in ice for your trip home. No fishing license is required for fishing in the camp’s pond. As for camping, choose from 50 AMP or full hookups with other amenities including a grocery store and laundry facility. You’ll also find a heated swimming pool to enjoy after your fishing adventure.
Nearby Custer State Park offers several campgrounds suitable for RVs including Blue Bell, which offers large forested campsites near French Creek. Amenities include flush toilets, showers, water and vault toilets. You can fish for trout in French Creek. Center Lake Campground accommodates small RVs in sites located along the lake. Amenities include vault toilets, water and showers. You can swim at the beach or launch your boat and explore the lake, or enjoy trout fishing. “No wake” boating rules apply at Center Lake. Both campgrounds are open during the summer and fall only.
The George S. Mickelson Hiking and Biking Trail offers hiking and biking along 109 miles of the Black Hills’ gentle slopes. You’ll find more than 100 converted railroad bridges and four tunnels along the trail. If you want to challenge yourself, take the 19-mile stretch from Deadwood to Dumont, the longest incline on the trail. Trout fishing is also popular in the area, especially in the streams and creeks in the surrounding national forest. Try your hand at gold panning while in Deadwood; if you don’t have your own pan, pick up one in the town, or head to one of the businesses that let you try gold panning on their premises.
If you plan to go fishing in a lake or stream outside of Fish ‘N Fry Campground, you’ll need to obtain a South Dakota State fishing license, available in sporting goods stores in Deadwood. You can also pick up groceries, firewood, bait, fishing gear and other camping supplies in Deadwood.
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