The expansive and scenic trail provides proximity to many historical monuments such as Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument. It cuts through steep hillsides, granite slab cliffs, Ponderosa pine forests, narrow valleys, creeks, four hard rock tunnels and more than 100 converted railroad bridges. All of this provides excellent recreational activities for walkers, horseback riders, hikers, cross country skiers and bicyclists.
Through use of the trail, both tourists and residents now have an alternative means of passage between neighboring towns. Much of the trail passes through National Forest Land, although certain parts cross privately owned land where users are restricted to the trail only.
The $5.5 million project has received $2 million in funds from the Federal Transportation Enhancement Program and the rest from private donations. Individual bridge conversions were adopted through the Bridge Builder Program, and benefactors get the privilege of having their bridge bear a brass plaque engraved with their names.
The conversion of a rail trail into a multi use trail.