A 14.5 mile lolipop loop lies right out the backdoor of Deadwood Bicycles. Starting with a
3.5 mile ride on a slight grade to the Kirk Trailhead. Once at Kirk, the decision to be made
is to choose one of the two directions. Continuing on the Trail will take you past the Trailhead
and Counter-Clockwise around the loop. Choosing the spur will
take you through the Trailhead, across a bridge and Clockwise
around the loop (most recommended route).
Larger Loop Map
Choosing to stay on the Trail will take you past the Kirk
Trailhead and the adjoining Kirk Power Plant. A gradual
2.5 mile ascent will take you along Fantail Creek and
eventually run parallel with Hwy 85. You will pass the Sugarloaf Trailhead where
the trail grade increases slightly. The trail levels off
as the trail turns eastward toward Kirk Canyon through a
small cut. Two more miles along a somewhat flatter section
leads you to the '5-point' where the Kirk Spur connects back
to the trail. A bench and a bronze map mark this location.
Continuing on the Trail another two miles will takeyou
to the Englwood Trailhead.
Turning down toward the spur, will take you down the'Tie Road' a 1/4 mile 17% Grade. Care should be taken as the
Tie Road is a loose gravel twin track with a grass median.
At the bottom keep left, as the Tie Road connects back with
normal trail along the creek. In front of you along the hillside
to the right are the
Wasp and Bismark mines. The rest of the trail back
toward the Kirk Trailhead is normal grade.
Make sure to check out the numerous beaver damns along
the way. This large member of the rodent family is often
visible wading at dusk in its dam created ponds. Three of
the larger and newest trestles are on the Kirk Spur, as
well as some impressive cuts. The only thing the spur
lacks is a tunnel.
In all the descent from the 5-point back to Deadwood
Bicycles will be about 6 miles.
Choosing the Spur, will take you to the left toward the
Trailhead and accross a short bridge into the southern
portion of Kirk Canyon.
Whitewood Creek and the trail
meander for a little over 2 miles of a gradual grade.
Just above and past the fourth tressel is a rest area with
interpretive information about two small mining operations.
The difficult portion of the ride is a sharp 1/4 mile
17% grade. As you climb along the Tie Road you will pass
an old Homestake aqueduct that still supplies Lead and
Deadwood. The aqueduct is two-thirds of the way.
A bench and bronze map designate the top of the climb
at the '5-point', turning right onto the Trail takes you
2 miles along the ridge above Kirk Canyon, the Spur and
the mines are visible off to the right, below and eye
level respectively. The trail takes a hard left hand curve
through a cut. Here, the grade increases notably for the
next mile as you approach Sugarloaf. The highway can be
Sugarloaf the trail hairpins
back, and follows the highway for a while before turning
and following Fantail creek. Before the trail leaves the
highway, Lewies Saloon and Eatery is a great stop for
burger and beverage-perhaps the best burgers in the Northern
Hills. Another 2.5 miles downhill to Kirk and Deadwood Bicycles
another 3.5 from there for a total downhill of about 9 miles.
FYI: This is Tony's Recommended route. Email to ask why.