Black Hills Nordic Ski Club

‘Tis the season in which winter enthusiasts are looking for their next adventure, which may be at Big Hill Trail in Spearfish.

SPEARFISH, S.D. – As the sun glistens brightly on the snow, the sound of Nordic skis crunching the hard-packed crystals beneath can be heard.

An amazing resource in the Black Hills community is the Big Hill Trails. The Black Hills Nordic Ski Club has supported winter recreation at Big Hill for over 40 years. Known for miles of groomed ski trails, it’s a center of winter activity for skate skiers, classic cross-country skiers, fat-tire bikers and snowshoers.

 In the mid 1970’s, local nordic enthusiasts developed the trail system into the winter playground it is today.

Clay Dykstra, ski club member, says “There’s old logging roads in here that were cleaned and maintained, so the ski club formed around them – just a group of like-minded citizens who wanted a place to ski and through cooperation with the forest service to be able to use the land it has been maintained and groomed since then.”

About 15 minutes from Spearfish, the ski trail system consists of five loop trails and one spur trail, for a total distance of 13.6 miles. There’s also a warming shelter in the meadow. Some trails are groomed specifically for cross country skiing and trails designated for snowshoeing and fat-tire biking.

Hundreds of volunteer hours and thousands in club funds are expended each season to groom the trails. The club is donation based and is currently in need of new grooming equipment.

The trails exist because of club members like Clay whose passion for the outdoors keeps the trails accessible.

“I grew up skiing. I like seeing my kids ski. I like seeing my friends’ kids ski. And it’s just good clean fun. You can go out and do it wherever there’s enough snow.”

The club is hosting a Winter Carnival on Sat., January 12th, where all are welcome to try Nordic skiing.

Click here to view a list all the upcoming events and contact information.

To access the Big Hill Trails system from Spearfish, travel south on FSR 134 approximately eight miles to the trail-head which is on the east side of the road. If accessing from I-90, take Exit 8 and go south on McGuigan Rd. which turns into FS 134.

Proceeds from these events goes towards maintaining groomed trails at Big Hill.

For more information, contact events coordinator Leslie Wangeman at or 402-250-2114.

Categories: Local News