Near the far eastern border of the Black Hills National Forest is a network of old forest service roads and trails known as Victoria Rim. This area can be easily accessed by heading west along Sheridan Lake Road from Rapid City, South Dakota. On the edge of town the forest begins, and Norseman Lane marks the boundary. At the end of this short residential road is the beginning of USFS 150.1F, where the city yields to formidable woodlands.
The old forest service road was gated to motorized vehicles but open to hikers and the like. USFS 150.1F was a wide dirt path (of varying types of soil, interestingly enough) which was easy to follow and traverse. We soon came to a fork in the trail where USFS 150.1F led off to the right (we had explored this road before on a previous expedition). We passed by it and continued ahead on what was now USFS Road 150.
150 took us through a lovely section of forest. It followed the curves of the rolling wooded hills but was not strenuous or too demanding. The dogs had a good time on this beautiful walk, sniffing everything along the way. As we strolled onward the forest around us began to thicken; dense vegetation and crowded trees lined the road.
We saw the start of marked USFS Road 150.1A to our right. It led northwest through the forest. We walked past it, but had plans to explore this path on the way back. We continued through the gorgeous woodlands along USFS 150.
After a little while we came upon the other (west) end of USFS 150.1A. We took a right here, deciding to traverse it through the woods in order to make a loop back. There was no obvious marker on this end of the trail, but a quick glance at a Forest Service map confirmed it was indeed the correct path.
While 150 had been a wide and well traveled dirt road, 150.1A was quite different. It led us through thick wilderness and quickly became an overgrown path lined with tall grasses. We made a point of moving quickly through the lush patches, and strongly recommend checking for ticks on all people and animals after completing this trek -they are quite common in this area.
150.1A continued through dense forest and varied between grassy dirt path and rocky old Forest Service Road, but was fairly easy to hike. It wasn't too challenging or very long. In a short time we had followed it back to its start on USFS 150 (the one we had passed earlier on our walk). We took a left onto 150 which led us back to where we had originally started from.
Victoria Rim isn't well-known, but it is a favorite spot of the locals. It's easy to access and is a beautiful trail. This was a fun hike that provided exercise and enrichment without being too time consuming or strenuous. Our loop only took about an hour, including breaks for water and treats along the way. The dogs had a great time on their peaceful stroll through the eastern woodlands of the Black Hills. This was a lovely place for a walk.