STURGIS, S.D. – Beginning November 6, 2023, the west half of the Sturgis Trails System will be closed for a hazardous fuels reduction operation.
There will be multiple hazardous fuels reduction operations happening simultaneously including tethered logging. Tethered logging is a steep slope logging system using equipment tethered to steel cables. Officials said the safest course of action is to temporarily close these trails as cables will be stretched across the trail and heavy equipment will be utilized.
Barricades will be posted at the locations where the public enters the trail system and notices will be posted at the trailheads. The closure does include the Vanocker trailhead.
A notification will be sent out when hazardous fuels reduction operations and trail rehabilitations are complete, and it is safe to use the Sturgis Trails again.
Steve Kozel, Northern Hills District Ranger said “We appreciate public cooperation and patience with the trail closure. We want to be able to provide a safe environment for both the contractors working on the project and the recreating public.”
The City of Sturgis and Black Hills Trails maintain this trail system though a permit authorized by the Black Hills National Forest. Rick Bush from the City of Sturgis public works department said this will result in a positive outcome by reducing hazardous fuels near Sturgis.
The Forest Service would also like to point out that the trails on the east side of Vanocker Canyon will still be open for use.