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Badger Clark Historic Trail

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

Badger Clark was South Dakota's first poet laureate. His work was a reflection on rural country life and wilderness living, but the pieces that gained the most notoriety were the so-called 'cowboy poems'. For the last 30 years of his life Badger Clark lived in a cabin located in Custer State Park (until his death in 1957). This house, known as "Badger Hole", is now a historic site. Behind it is the trail that Badger himself supposedly walked from time to time.

Dogs are not allowed inside Badger Hole but they can enjoy the loop trail that wanders through the forest behind his house. Along the path are informational signs about Badger Clark as well as examples of his poetry.

As you walk the hills behind the cabin you really get a sense of who this man was. You are enjoying the same scenery that inspired so much of his later works. Visit his house, walk his trail, and read his poems along the way. Towards the end you'll read "I Must Come Back", and on a cool silent autumn morning you'll swear he never left.

This was a nice walk through beautiful and eerily charming pine forest. It wasn't too strenuous, and the dogs had a great time (even though they were clearly not interested in the cowboy poetry). It was a very chill little hike, with poems to stop and read as we poked along the trail.

This attraction is best experienced when it's less crowded. We strongly recommend visiting in the off-season or early in the morning so that you can thoroughly enjoy all the information along the way.

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