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Contact: Maureen McGee-Ballinger, 605-574-3115
Keystone, SD – On Tuesday, September 26, an early celebration of National Public Lands Day occurred with the reopening of the Blackberry Trail. In coordination with the Black Hills Backcountry Horsemen of South Dakota and generous donors through the Mount Rushmore Society, the equestrian and hiking trail has been rehabilitated and reopened.
Closed in May 2016 for rehabilitation, the trail connects with the Centennial Trail in the Black Elk Wilderness, part of the Black Hills National Forest. Approximately 2700 feet of trail underwent repair and 1500 feet of new trail was developed to create a sustainable route. The Black Hills Backcountry Horsemen of South Dakota brought their familiarity with the trail providing technical expertise during the repair process.
"The completion of the project supports a long term goal of updating the equestrian trail and offers visitors an opportunity to see other types of landscapes. They will be able to ride or hike in solitude enjoying the trees, birds and geology of Mount Rushmore National Memorial," said Superintendent Schreier during the ribbon cutting ceremony.
If traveling on horseback, visitors will begin their trek in the Black Elk Wilderness following the Centennial Trail. All equestrians should familiarize themselves with wilderness regulations prior to their journey. Hikers can begin their exploration at the Blackberry Trailhead located across from the parking garage at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Public Lands Day will officially be celebrated with a wide variety of events and volunteer activities across the country on Saturday September 30. The Environmental Education Foundation coordinates the events for a full listing of activities go to their website at https://www.neefusa.org/public-lands-day
For additional park information, please visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial's official website at www.nps.gov/moru or call (605) 574-2523.