Motorized trails to remain closed in Black Hills National Forest through Memorial Day weekend

CUSTER, S.D. — The Black Hills National Forest says motorized trails will remain temporarily closed for motor vehicle use through Memorial Day weekend.

The closures result from extremely wet conditions throughout the region in the past few days, with more rain in the forecast.

Photo from the Black Hills National Forest

Officials clarified last week that the closures pertain to motorized trails — and that motor vehicles like UTV’s and ATV’s can still ride on over 3,100 miles of Forest Service roads, although they should still avoid wet and muddy areas to help prevent damage to road surfaces.

“The trails will be opened when conditions allow, but for now they need to remain closed to prevent long lasting damage,” said Mark Van Every, Black Hills National Forest supervisor. “As trails dry out, some may be opened while others may take additional time.”

The restrictions apply to Black Hills National Forest Service motorized trail systems throughout South Dakota and Wyoming. Violations can result in up to $5,000 in fines and six months imprisonment, or both. Additionally, damage can take years to repair.

Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park was closed on Tuesday as a result of rain, sleet and snow. In general, those enjoying the outdoors should avoid muddy trails, as even walking on them can cause erosion and create compacted soil that prevents water from draining effectively.

Photo from Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park

To check for updates on HLMP, you can visit the park’s Facebook page. For information on Black Hills National Forest trail system closures call (605) 673-9200 or visit

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News